Fellow Democrats have turned on New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham over her decision to suspend open and concealed carry gun laws for at least 30 days in Bernalillo County, which includes the state’s largest city, Albuquerque.
Lujan Grisham’s order issued Friday and couched under a public health emergency also temporarily prohibits the carrying of guns on public property except for licensed security guards and law enforcement officers.
U.S. Rep. Ted Lieu, D-Calif., a longtime supporter of gun-control efforts, criticized Lujan Grisham’s order.
“I support gun safety laws,” Lieu posted Saturday on X. “However, this order from the Governor of New Mexico violates the U.S. Constitution. No state in the union can suspend the federal Constitution. There is no such thing as a state public health emergency exception to the U.S. Constitution.”
In response to Lieu, Lujan Grisham posted Sunday on X: “Hey Ted, conceal and open carry are state laws that I have jurisdiction over. If you’re really interested in helping curb gun violence, I’d welcome you to join our next police academy class.”
When a reporter asked Lujan Grisham during a news conference Friday whether her order was consistent with her oath to uphold the Constitution, she said “no constitutional right, in my view, including my oath, is intended to be absolute.”
She added the declared emergency empowers her to restrict Second Amendment rights and the order would be lifted only if “the epidemic” of gun violence ended after 30 days, adding, “I bet it’s not over in 30 days.”
State Sen. Joe Cervantes, a Democrat who chairs the Senate Judiciary Committee, called on Grisham to rescind her order.
“Having passed key gun safety laws working with her administration, I call on the Governor to rescind her order outlawing arms,” Cervantes posted Monday on X. “An unconstitutional approach undermines the important collaboration gun issues deserve, and the important role of a Governor to lead genuine reforms.”
Bernalillo County District Attorney Sam Bregman, a former Democratic Party leader who was appointed by Lujan Grisham, on Saturday joined Democrat Albuquerque Mayor Tim Keller and Police Chief Harold Medina saying they wouldn’t enforce the order.
“As an officer of the court, I cannot and will not enforce something that is clearly unconstitutional,” Bregman said, according to the Albuquerque Journal. “This office will continue to focus on criminals of any age that use guns in the commission of a crime.”
Republican state Reps., Stefani Lord of Sandia Park and John Block of Alamogordo, are calling for Grisham’s impeachment, claiming the order is an infringement on New Mexicans’ Second Amendment right to bear arms. Given that Republicans are a minority in both houses of the Legislature, impeachment might be off the table.
But the National Association for Gun Rights and Foster Haines, a member of the group who lives in Albuquerque, filed a lawsuit Saturday in U.S. District Court in New Mexico seeking a temporary restraining order and repeal of Grisham’s directive.
Michael Katz ✉
Michael Katz is a Newsmax reporter with more than 30 years of experience reporting and editing on news, culture, and politics.
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