New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham declared a public health emergency over “gun violence” on Thursday following the death of an 11-year-old boy. On Friday, she took the unprecedented step of “suspending” gun rights in Albuquerque, the state’s largest city, with the possibility of other cities following suit.
Gov. Lujan Grisham declared gun violence a public health emergency Thursday, following the murder of an 11-year-old boy on his way home from an Isotopes game Wednesday night. That case, combined with several other violent cases involving children, sparked the decision.
The new public health order is effective Friday, Sept. 8. After 30 days, they will evaluate whether they should renew the order or make adjustments.
The public health order is a statewide mandate, but it only suspends open and concealed carry laws in communities with extremely high violent crime rates and firearm-related emergency room visits. Right now, that only includes the Albuquerque metro.
Grisham took to social media in an attempt to justify her order order, claiming that 2 to 3 children a month die from gunshot wounds in New Mexico,
Today I issued a 30-day ban on the open & concealed carrying of guns in Albuquerque and Bernalillo County. Gun violence is killing between 2 and 3 children every month in NM – every single one of these deaths is unconscionable and they must stop. https://t.co/KJdXUMBVaG
— Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham (@GovMLG) September 9, 2023
To say this is unconstitutional is a massive understatement. Gun rights, including duly passed open and concealed carry laws, can’t simply be “suspended” by a governor, and doing so under the guise of an emergency is tyrannical. If this were to stand, then any right could theoretically be crushed by the state as long as an emergency declaration is made.
How many children die in car accidents a month in New Mexico? Could Grisham unilaterally outlaw the use of cars within the state she leads to supposedly prevent driving deaths? Because that’s the same logic being applied in relation to gun rights.
In the end, this isn’t actually about stopping the shooting of children because people who shoot children do not follow gun laws. Rather, this is about Grisham trying to punish her adversaries in response to tragedies they have nothing to do with. Gang members do not worry about legally concealing their guns nor obtaining them through legitimate means. Law-abiding gun owners do. There is no rationale in punishing them, which perfectly exposes what Grisham is really doing.
No doubt, the governor’s move will be quickly challenged in court, as it should be. The idea that she can simply suspend gun rights, much less do so indefinitely subject to her carrying out a 30-day review, is insane. If this injustice isn’t corrected and correctly swiftly, it will open the door for all kinds of new aspects of government overreach, and you can bet Joe Biden will try it at the national level.
Lastly, there’s no real indication of who will enforce this order. Will the Albuquerque Police Department use its already limited resources to arrest legal gun owners? Time will tell.