NM Governor Response To Criticism From Local Officials
Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham of New Mexico has come under fire recently after mocking a sheriff who declared his office would not enforce the governor’s order suspending the right to carry open and concealed guns publicly, saying “It’s not for police to tell me what’s constitutional or not.”
John Allen, the Bernalillo County Sheriff, stated he understood the urgency of the order, but felt the temporary ban challenged the foundations of the Constitution and declared it was unconstitutional.
During an interview on CNN, host Poppy Harlow confronted the Democratic Governor about her stance, suggesting that she was in violation of both the U.S. Constitution and the New Mexico Constitution with Article 2, Section 6, which reads “No law shall abridge the right of citizens to keep and bear arms for security and defense. No municipality or county shall regulate in any way any incident the right to keep and bear arms.”
Governor Grisham maintained that she had the right to make certain restrictions, claiming that if a “narrow reading of the Constitution” was taken, then background checks, waiting periods, and red flag laws would not have been deemed constitutional.
Harlow noted that some of those restrictions were in place before the Supreme Court ruled on them, to which the Governor responded that they hadn’t been tested again.
When asked if she planned to keep the order in place for 30 days and take the issue up to the Supreme Court, Governor Grisham simply said “Listen, I can make any number of statements and already have.”
This statement, in addition to her mocking of the sheriff’s comments, has caused an uproar in the state. Many citizens are now questioning the governor’s true intentions behind the order, as she has yet to make clear if she will keep the order in place and the decision to push it without consulting the legislature and sheriff’s office. The altercation between the governor and the sheriff has set a precedent for the respect due to law enforcement officers in New Mexico and has made citizens wary of their leaders. In times of crisis, communication and trust between the various branches of the government is key to ensuring that any action taken is in line with the citizens' best interests.
N.M. @GovMLG: “It’s not for police to tell me what’s constitutional or not. They haven’t supported one, not one gun violence effort in the state of New Mexico, including domestic violence protections, universal background checks.” pic.twitter.com/KE7YT0BS9B
— Tom Elliott (@tomselliott) September 12, 2023