Bernalillo County, New Mexico, Sheriff John Allen said Monday he will not enforce an emergency open and concealed carry gun ban ordered by the state’s Democratic Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham.
“Let me be clear. I hold my standards high, and I do not, or ever will, hedge on what is right, and I take my oath seriously” Sheriff Allen said during a press conference Monday. “In reference to concealed carry and open carry, the Bernalillo County Sheriff’s Office will not enforce this segment of the [governor’s] order.”
The Hill reported that Grisham issued an emergency 30-day order Friday outlawing open and concealed carry of firearms in parts of the state that meet a threshold of violent crime.
Grisham issued the public health emergency in reaction to an increase in gun violence, including the shooting death of an 11-year-boy outside of a minor league baseball stadium last week.
“When New Mexicans are afraid to be in crowds, to take their kids to school, to leave a baseball game — when their very right to exist is threatened by the prospect of violence at every turn — something is very wrong,” the Associated Press reported Grisham saying in a statement.
She said that state police would be enforcing the order, which encompasses most public areas including city sidewalks and urban recreational parks, and currently applies only to the Albuquerque metropolitan region.
Allen, also a Democrat, said that while he understands the urgency of the order because of the increase in violent gun crime, it also challenges the 2nd Amendment of the U.S. Constitution guaranteeing an individual’s right to keep and bear arms.
“My oath was to protect the Constitution, and that is what I will do,” Allen said. “This order will not do anything to curb gun violence other than to punish law abiding citizens from their Constitutional right to self-defense.”
Grisham’s order was immediately challenged in court, with the National Association of Gun Rights filing a lawsuit citing last year’s U.S. Supreme Court ruling in a New York gun case upholding the rights of gun ownership, The Hill’s report said.
“The State must justify the Carry Prohibition by demonstrating that it is consistent with the Nation’s historical tradition of firearm regulation,” the lawsuit reads. “But it is impossible for the State to meet this burden, because there is no such historical tradition of firearms regulation in this Nation.”
Charles Kim ✉
Charles Kim, a Newsmax general assignment writer, is an award-winning journalist with more than 30 years in reporting on news and politics.
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