New Mexico’s Governor Blames the Law-Abiding

posted on September 11, 2023
Photo: Ross D. Franklin/AP

Hollywood has long propagated the Old West storyline of the sheriff banning guns in parts of a town. Errol Flynn did it in Virginia City (1941). Kurt Russell did it when playing “Wyatt Earp” in Tombstone (1993). But a nonfictional governor is supposed to know better.

When New Mexico Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham (D) announced she was suspending the right to carry firearms in public across Albuquerque and the surrounding Bernalillo County for at least 30 days, even local law-enforcement officials protested.

Gun-control proponents often invoke a fear of Old West shootouts when they talk about constitutional carry or concealed carry in general. Now we have a New Mexico governor trying to bring back the martial law we saw used in a few Hollywood westerns.

Social media went bonkers over this obvious unconstitutional attempt to blame law-abiding citizens who chose to carry for the actions of criminals.

Even Elon Musk got in on the rebuke. While citing a news story on the new order on X, formerly Twitter, Musk wrote: “At the risk of stating what should be obvious, deliberately violating the Constitution is next-level illegal. How soon can this person be removed from office?”

The NRA posted: “The New Mexico Bill of Rights guarantees the right to keep and bear arms for security, defense, and all other lawful purposes. Under the New Mexico Civil Rights Act, signed into law by @GovMLG, a person whose rights under the Bill of Rights are violated may sue to recover for damages and obtain injunctive relief. Damages may be awarded up to $2 million per person whose rights were violated.”

Just how thick of an ideological bubble does someone need to live in to believe, despite all the crime data available today, that lawfully armed citizens are driving up the homicide rate? Shouldn’t a public official, especially a governor, have access to data that can help them zero in on an actual solution to a problem?

Based on her own words from the public announcement of this 30-day ban of a constitutional right, she does.

Gov. Grisham actually said that she doesn’t expect criminals to follow the order. She just hopes it sends “a resounding message” to everyone else—meaning those who lawfully carry. “The point here is, is that, if everyone did it, and I wasn’t legally challenged, you would have fewer risks on the street, and I could safely say, to every New Mexican, particularly those folks living in Albuquerque and Bernalillo County, I believe that you’re safer for the next 30 days, we have to wait and see,” said Gov. Grisham.

The New Mexico governor showed she knows she is ignoring the U.S. Constitution when she said that she has “warned everyone that we expect a direct challenge” to this unconstitutional edict. “I have to take a tough direct stand,” she also said. The thing is she does not have to take this nonsensical action. What she is supposed to do is to stay within the bounds of her state’s constitution and the U.S. Constitution.

In the meantime, the NRA Institute for Legislative Action (ILA) recommends all law-abiding New Mexico citizens contact the governor’s office, along with all other elected representatives, to let them know that it’s already illegal for criminals to carry guns and that you oppose this outrageous and unconstitutional attack on the rights of law-abiding residents to protect themselves and their families.


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