More than 100 protesters openly carried firearms in Albuquerque, New Mexico, on Sunday to rally against Democratic Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham’s temporary gun suspension that was enacted under an emergency public health order.
“My jaw dropped for a Second Amendment to be suspended. It’s, it’s unconstitutional, we gotta put it that way. A lot of people here feel the same way,” a gun owner identified as Derek J. told local outlet KOB 4.
More than 100 gun owners gathered in the city’s Old Town area holding American flags and speaking out against the governor’s order, including a protester shouting, “We will not comply!” The protest was described as peaceful by local media and wrapped up by 3 p.m.
“Why I’m here is the people’s voice needs to be heard, those on the ground, those dealing with these situations need to be heard,” protester Jonathan Olivas told KRQE.
Another said: “This governor has overstepped her bounds, twice now, big time, with squashing our constitutional rights, and it’s time for it to stop.”
Lujan Grisham temporarily suspended open and concealed carry laws in Bernalillo County for at least 30 days in an executive order announced Friday. The announcement was spurred by the fatal shootings of a 13-year-old girl in July, a 5-year-old girl in August and an 11-year-old boy this month.
“As I said yesterday, the time for standard measures has passed,” the governor said, according to her office’s press release on the order. “And 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 governor held a press conference Friday, during which she made controversial remarks that no constitutional right is “absolute.”
“No constitutional right, in my view, including my oath, is intended to be absolute,” Lujan Grisham told a reporter who asked whether it’s “unconstitutional” to order Americans not to exercise their right to bear arms.
The governor’s press secretary Caroline Sweeney told Fox News Digital on Sunday that the “order does not suspend the Constitution but instead state laws over which the governor has jurisdiction.”
Sweeney added that the governor “was elected to serve the people of New Mexico, and not a day goes by that she doesn’t hear from a constituent asking for more to be done to curb this horrific violence.”
Lujan Grisham has been hit with lawsuits and outrage from Second Amendment groups, including the National Rifle Association (NRA), which called the governor’s order “shocking” in exclusive comment to Fox News Digital over the weekend.
“In a shocking move, Gov. Lujan Grisham is suspending Second Amendment rights by administrative fiat, ignoring the U.S. Constitution and the New Mexico Constitution,” NRA-ILA Executive Director Randy Kozuch said. “Instead of undermining the fundamental rights of law-abiding New Mexicans, she should address the soft-on-criminal policies which truly endanger its citizens.”
Republican state Rep. Stefani Lord, who has been vocal against Grisham’s order and called for her impeachment, also attended Sunday’s protest in Old Town, according to KOB 4.
“So this is why I filed an impeachment, Representative John Block and I filed impeachment, which we plan to have done this week. And we plan on trying to push that through because she has done an illegal act and violated her oath,” said Lord.
“What she should do is go back and look at the bills we tried to present on the Republican side that we tried to make it that if you’re a felon, doing a crime, we want to increase the penalties and keep you behind bars,” she added.
State police, who were tasked with enforcing the gun order, told KOB 4 that no citations were issued at the rally. Other police officials in the state, including Albuquerque Police Chief Harold Medina and Bernalillo County District Attorney Sam Bregman, have said they will not enforce the order.
Protesters told reporters that they plan to continue carrying their firearms despite the order, KRQE reported.