New Mexico Governor's Latest Push Not the Worst Gun Proposal She's Ever Made

AP Photo/Morgan Lee

New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham is a notoriously anti-gun lawmaker who clearly thinks no one should have a firearm. In fact, she's a big reason why a lot of people are bothered by the surgeon general's recent advisory naming so-called gun violence as a public health crisis. After all, that was her rationale for trying to ban the lawful carry of firearms in Albuquerque.


That did not work out as she intended.

Now, it seems the legislature will have a special session to address gun violence, and while we know what she'd like to do, it seems this time she's got her sights set on something far more realistic. She wants to hammer felons found with guns.

The New Mexico Governor is pushing for harsher penalties in the upcoming special legislative session.

With the special session just two weeks away, safety is top of mind for Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham.

Lujan Grisham's office looks to increase jail time for convicted felons who are caught with a firearm, which was proposed to the Courts, Corrections & Justice Committee on June 26.


The governor's office is proposing a raise in sentences for felons found guilty of being in possession of a firearm, making it a second-degree felony and raising the penalty to a minimum of nine years.

While [Grisham's senior public safety advisor Benjamin]Baker admitted many studies have pointed out that harsher sentencing does not deter criminals, he said there is another reason why this change should be made.

"I believe there are multiple facets in the criminal justice system. Deterrence is not the only one. The community’s safety due to incarceration and separation from the community so that one cannot re-offend are an important point that I would like to raise to the committee," Baker said.


Now, I'm not a fan of stripping gun rights for people who supposedly aren't supposed to represent a threat to the public--if they're still a threat, why are they walking around?--but this is far more useful than restricting the right of people to keep and bear arms who have never done anything wrong.

These are felons who are breaking the law, which suggests they'll break even more. These aren't felons trying to walk the straight and narrow, now are they?

And I respect that they're at least acknowledging that deterrence isn't a viable outcome. Instead, simply punishing them and pulling them off the streets for a number of years might have some degree of benefit.

The truth is that laws like this don't deter anyone because everyone's convinced they won't get caught. They've seen others go without being caught and so they don't see any reason they should worry. So they don't worry a bit.

Penalizing people for doing so, however, removes them from free society, meaning we're left without their sparkling contributions such as armed robbery, assault, and other forms of violent crime.

No, you won't get everyone, but you'll get some, so yeah, this isn't the worst idea Grisham has ever had. Granted, that's not a particularly high bar to clear. She could advise people to eat laundry detergent and it would still not be the worst idea she ever had. 


So yeah, we all know how bad it can be with her, but this is something that could have come from a Republican governor. It's actually not terrible, though I don't know that it'll really have much impact overall. That will remain to be seen, though, especially if this comes to pass.

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