New Mexico Governor Defends Emergency Gun Control Order as Pushback Grows

Democrat New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham is continuing to defend her decision to unilaterally ban people from carrying their firearms in public, whether openly or concealed, in Albuquerque and t…

Democrat New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham is continuing to defend her decision to unilaterally ban people from carrying their firearms in public, whether openly or concealed, in Albuquerque and the surrounding Bernalillo County for 30 days.

In her first interview since issuing the order, Ms. Lujan Grisham told CNN’s “This Morning” show that she decided to issue the executive order to temporarily suspend the ability to carry firearms in public in Bernalillo County as a means of addressing recent gun deaths in her state, including children. The governor said, “We lost 143 children between 2017 and 2021; it is unacceptable, and it calls for immediate and swift and bold action.”

The governor’s orders prompted multiple lawsuits from gun rights organizations, calling the move unconstitutional. Several Albuquerque and Bernalillo County officials have also said they would not enforce the governor’s order, citing concerns about its legality and constitutionality.

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In response to criticisms about the constitutionality and enforceability of her order, Ms. Lujan Grisham told CNN, “Well, that’s their opinion.”

In a Friday press conference after announcing the order, the Democrat governor said, “No constitutional right, in my view, including my oath, is intended to be absolute.”

In her comments to CNN on Tuesday, Ms. Lujan Grisham said she’s focused on “everyone’s constitutional rights, not just those the [National Rifle Association or NRA] says I should be focused on.”

When CNN host Poppy Harlow noted that concerns about the constitutionality of the order are not limited to gun rights groups but also law enforcement, Ms. Lujan Grisham responded, “It’s not for [the] police to tell me what’s constitutional or not,” and said law enforcement officials have never supported her gun control efforts.

During the interview, the CNN host also asked the governor whether anyone was enforcing her order.

“Well, we haven’t issued any civil penalties, but that doesn’t mean that we’re not and that we don’t have the ability to do that,” Ms. Lujan Grisham replied.

“That’s a no, right?” the CNN host pressed again.

“It’s a no this minute; it doesn’t mean we don’t have additional police presence,” Ms. Lujan Grisham replied.

On Monday, dozens of protesters gathered in Albuquerque’s historic Old Town area, many visibly carrying firearms in defiance of the governor’s order. It’s unclear whether any arrests were made or citations were issued to anyone in this group of openly armed protesters.

Governor Compares Gun Rights to Abortion

As the interview continued, the CNN anchor questioned Ms. Lujan Grisham, an attorney, about where she found the constitutional grounds to suspend gun carry rights.

“Well, we’re going to see,” Ms. Lujan Grisham said. “Look, I wouldn’t do it if I didn’t think I had the right. I have the right.”

The governor then appeared to pivot toward recent U.S. Supreme Court decisions involving abortion and gun rights.

“Look, I’ve got a Supreme Court that says my personal bodily autonomy can be restricted,” the governor said, in an apparent reference to a Supreme Court decision last year finding that states could regulate abortion access. “And yet,” she continued, “the NRA and other issues on the Second Amendment keep getting broadened.”

Last year, in the case of the New York State Rifle & Pistol Association v. Bruen, the U.S. Supreme Court determined that the Second Amendment right “to keep and bear arms” entails being able to carry those firearms in public for self-defense. The court further ruled that states had to have clear, objective criteria for permitting people to carry their firearms in public rather than leaving the issue up to subjective permitting criteria and the judgment of state officials.

As the interview continued, Ms. Harlow returned to comparing abortion access and gun rights, asking how abortion opponents might use similar logic to restrict abortion access.

“That’s a big thing you’re testing here, too,” the CNN host said. “Let me give you a hypothetical … what if a Republican governor of a state declares a health emergency and unilaterally outlaws abortion in that state, where the legislature has not done so by statute? Following your logic, would that also be sound?”

Ms. Lujan Grisham replied that the abortion scenario the CNN anchor described is already playing out. However, she did not list a specific example of a Republican governor restricting abortion access through an executive order. The Democrat governor then said her decision to suspend gun carry rights “is about protecting everyone’s rights,” whereas the hypothetical scenario the CNN host presented her about a Republican governor is “about restricting some rights.”

Original News Source Link – Epoch Times

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