After a New Mexico sheriff stated that his office would not enforce a segment of the Democratic governor’s order suspending the right to carry open and concealed guns publicly — echoing the state’s attorney general, who called the move unconstitutional — the governor mocked the sheriff, declaring “It’s not for police to tell me what’s constitutional or not.”
Bernalillo County Sheriff John Allen stated, “In reference to concealed carry and open carry, the Bernalillo County Sheriff’s Office will not enforce this segment of the order. While I understand the urgency, the temporary ban challenges the foundations of our Constitution. But most importantly, it is unconstitutional.”
Democratic Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham, interviewed by CNN’s Poppy Harlow, snapped, “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.”
“You’re an attorney,” Harlow noted. “Do you think you’re on solid constitutional ground here?”
“Well, we’re going to see,” Grisham declared. “I mean, look, I wouldn’t do it if I didn’t think I had the right. I have the right.”
“But where is the right? Where is the right?” Harlow pressed.
“In the State of New Mexico, public — it’s a suspension. It’s not a ban. And we’ll see what all of these court actions do,” Grisham replied.
Then she tried to compare gun rights to abortion: “I got a Supreme Court that says my personal bodily autonomy can be restricted. And yet, NRA and other issues on the Second Amendment keep getting broadened.”
“The Supreme Court last year totally changed what we’re allowed to do, what you’re allowed to do,” Harlow stated. “And they say, unless you can base it in the history and tradition, you don’t have grounds to do something like this. The New Mexico constitution, I looked last night, Article 2, Section 6, says this, ‘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.’ Are you not in violation of both the U.S. Constitution and your state’s constitution?”
“I don’t believe that we are,” Grisham sniffed. “And if that narrow reading of the constitution, which has been tested in the state, we wouldn’t have universal background checks, we wouldn’t have a waiting period, we wouldn’t have a red flag law, we wouldn’t have prohibitions for straw purchases. None of those would have been deemed constitutional. And today all of them are.”
“They were before the Supreme Court ruled that,” Harlow pointed out.
“But they haven’t been tested again,” Grisham argued.
“Are you going to keep doing this 30 days, take it up to the Supreme Court, or is this about a statement right now?” Harlow asked.
“Listen, I can make any number of statements and already have,” Grisham boasted.
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