By PRINCE ODETA
Democratic New Mexico Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham is facing criticism from within her own party for her decision to temporarily suspend open and concealed carry in Albuquerque under an emergency health order.
California Democratic Representative Ted Lieu tweeted his support for gun safety laws but argued that the governor’s order violated the U.S. Constitution, stating that no state can suspend the federal Constitution, even in a state public health emergency.
Governor Lujan Grisham’s order, which went into effect on September 8 for at least 30 days in Bernalillo County, was prompted by recent fatal shootings of young children.
In response to the criticism, she emphasized the urgency of the situation, stating that standard measures were no longer sufficient to address the threat of violence.
Gun control activist David Hogg also expressed agreement with Lieu’s constitutional concerns and questioned the validity of the state public health emergency exception.
Hogg further highlighted the diversity of views within the Democratic Party on issues like gun control, emphasizing the party’s openness to differing perspectives.
“It’s generally advisable to avoid complete agreement with anyone since no one is infallible, especially not myself.
However, I remain committed to speaking and acting in accordance with my convictions, even if they happen to be unpopular.
If the Democrats fall short in addressing gun violence, I won’t hesitate to voice my concerns. Similarly, if their approach doesn’t align with my views, I will express that as well,” he stated.
Caroline Sweeney, Lujan Grisham’s press secretary, responded to Lieu and Hogg’s comments, clarifying, “The governor’s order doesn’t suspend the Constitution but rather deals with state laws falling under her jurisdiction.
She seeks proactive partners with real solutions to combat the gun violence crisis, not critics without substantial answers.”
In a direct response to Lieu, the governor invited him to participate in an upcoming police academy class, emphasizing that state laws related to concealed and open carry are within her jurisdiction.
Her tweet read, “If you’re genuinely interested in addressing gun violence, you’re welcome to join our next police academy class.”
The unusual alignment of a Democrat governor with advocates of gun control sparked conservative and social media reactions, with some mocking her and others, including Republican Senator Ted Cruz, expressing surprise at the bipartisan agreement on a gun-related issue.
Meanwhile, two Republican legislators in New Mexico, Reps. Stefani Lord and John Block, called for Governor Lujan Grisham’s impeachment, labeling her emergency order as an “abhorrent attempt to impose a radical agenda” on the state’s residents.
Lord stated, “I am calling on counsel to initiate the impeachment process against Governor Grisham,” while Block criticized the order for restricting the rights of law-abiding gun owners without effectively addressing the core issue of crime, potentially leaving New Mexicans vulnerable to violence.
The New Mexico governor faces several lawsuits from Second Amendment groups, including The National Association for Gun Rights, whose president accused Lujan Grisham of disregarding the Constitution.
The NRA also criticized the order as “shocking” and urged the governor to focus on addressing crime trends through tougher policies rather than banning guns.
According to NRA-ILA Executive Director Randy Kozuch, Governor Lujan Grisham’s suspension of Second Amendment rights bypasses both the US Constitution and the New Mexico Constitution, impacting law-abiding citizens.
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