CNN’s Poppy Harlow whipped out the New Mexico Constitution on Tuesday and confronted Democratic Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham on her 30-day ban on Second Amendment rights in Albuquerque.
“I’m focused on everyone’s Constitutional rights, not just those the NRA says I should be focused on,” Grisham said before Harlow cut in to tell her it’s not just the NRA that is concerned.
Grisham then threatened to impose civil penalties if authorities won’t impose the declaration.
“It’s not for police to tell me what’s constitutional or not,” Grisham said. “This are NRA talking points about their rights and not about anybody’s else’s. And it’s not a ban, it’s a temporary pause.”
“But we also have Governor, the Constitution of New Mexico and the Constitution of the United States,” Harlow cut in. “Do you think you’re on solid constitutional ground here?”
“Well we’re gonna see,” Grisham said. “I wouldn’t do it if I didn’t think I had the right, I have the right–”
“But where is the right?” Harlow interjected.
“In the state of New Mexico, public health – it’s a suspension, it’s not a ban.”
“The New Mexico Constitution, Article II Section VI says ‘no law shall abridge the right of citizens to keep and bear arms for security and defense. No municipality or county shall regulate, in anyway, an incident of the right to keep and bear arms,’” Harlow recounted, “Are you not in violation of both the U.S. Constitution and your state’s constitution?”
“I don’t believe that we are. And if that narrow reading of the Constitution which has been tested in the state, we wouldn’t have universal background checks,” Grisham said, adding the state also has red flag laws and other gun control measures in place.
Harlow cut in to remind her all those laws were passed before the Supreme Court issued the groundbreaking decision in the New York State gun case.
Harlow then played an exchange Grisham had with a reporter last week in which the reporter asked Grisham whether she believed criminals would abide by the 30-day ban and Grisham flatly said “no.”
“You said ‘no’,” Harlow pointed out. “Are you going to keep doing this? 30 days, 30 days, take it up to the Supreme Court or is this about a statement right now?”
Grisham said her stance on guns is nothing new and said gun violence is “unacceptable.”
“Are you overreaching?” Harlow asked, giving Grisham a hypothetical in which a Republican governor creates a public health emergency and bans abortion even though the state legislature has not agreed to it. “Following your logic, would that also be sound?”
“Uh, uh, in this situation, I don’t think so, but that is what’s happening in this country,” Grisham said, trying to defend her declaration by saying in her case, she’s “protecting everyone’s rights” whereas the hypothetical Republican governor is “restricting some rights.” (RELATED: New Mexicans Do The Most American Thing Ever To Defy Second Amendment Ban)
Albuquerque resident Foster Haines sued Grisham alongside the National Association for Gun Rights arguing it violates the Second Amendment. The plaintiffs point to a recent Supreme Court decision that found New York’s concealed carry law to be unconstitutional and instead must be based on historical tradition.