New Mexico governor uses ‘public health’ to strip gun rights

The governor is targeting the legal firearms community.

Yesterday, the Democratic Governor of New Mexico issued an emergency order under the premise of a “public health emergency” suspending the open and permitted concealed carry of firearms in Albuquerque for 30 days in the midst of a spate of gun violence.

(I warned you the Left had bigger and more sinister plans under this “public health” loophole in the law years ago.)

Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham says she expects legal challenges to the order (because it is obviously and blatantly unconstitutional), but she still feels she was right to act.

The order would fall on the shoulders of police to enforce and could carry fines up to $5000. But while police often enforce unconstitutional laws, it looks like they may be holding the line on this one. Albuquerque police Chief Harold Medina said he won’t enforce it, and Bernalillo County Sheriff John Allen said he’s uneasy as it raises so many questions about constitutional rights.

“While I understand and appreciate the urgency, the temporary ban challenges the foundation of our Constitution, which I swore an oath to uphold,” Allen said. “I am wary of placing my deputies in positions that could lead to civil liability conflicts, as well as the potential risks posed by prohibiting law-abiding citizens from their constitutional right to self-defense.”

Under the order, residents could still transport their guns to their homes or the gun ranges for example, as long as the gun has a trigger lock in place or another mechanism that would prevent its discharge. But residents would not be allowed to have their firearms on them on city streets, parks, or sidewalks—arguably where one would need a gun for self-defense most.

The governor referred to several tragedies that have occurred in the Albuquerque region recently. An 11-year-old boy was killed by stray gun bullets outside a minor league baseball stadium, a 5-year-old was murdered in her trailer home by four teens in stolen vehicles who shot up the trailer, and a 13-year-old girl who was killed by her 14-year-old friend with his father’s weapon while playing at his home.

These are obvious tragedies. But they are completely detached from the legal gun owners community—which is precisely who Lujan Grisham is targeting with her executive order.

To be clear, individuals who would be carrying concealed weapons in New Mexico must be 21 years of age, a resident of the state, not have a criminal background, have completed a firearms safety class, and have paid the government to obtain a license and jumped through their loopholes to even get the permit. Do you really think these are the people committing gun violence?

They aren’t. In fact concealed permit holders are amongst the safest and most law-abiding demographic in the country. Period.

And in contrast to the moronic assertion that this group poses a risk, data shows that these people prevent violence in self-defense situations between 500,000 to 3 million times a year.

So in her complete ineptitude, the governor is not only violating the Constitution and people’s basic human rights, she’s also making the good guys sitting ducks, and making them unable to defend others in the process, while doing absolutely nothing that would deter violent criminals from committing violence. This is asshat governing.

What’s even more infuriating is the governor is openly acknowledging these facts. At a news conference she came under fire for her piss poor leadership. 

“You took an oath to the Constitution, isn’t it unconstitutional to say you cannot exercise your carry license?” one person asked. “With one exception,” the governor replied, “which is that, if there is an emergency and I’ve declared an emergency for a temporary amount of time, I can invoke additional powers.” She continued, “no constitutional right in my view, including my oath, is intended to be absolute.”

Ma’am. Where does it say in the Constitution the leaders can declare an “emergency” on a whim and then use that excuse to violate fundamental basic rights. I’ll save you the research energy, it doesn’t. This is utter hogwash, but it is a mentality we see growing on the Left where they’re becoming increasingly desperate. They cannot get their progressive agenda across the finish line because it isn’t popular enough and because our Founders were smart enough to structure our system so that one group of people with a slight majority couldn’t force their way of life on minorities. 

Which is why you’re now seeing a rise in “emergencies” and claims of public health disasters. They’re actively trying to find ways to suspend the Constitution and the rule of law because they don’t want to operate within it and because their wishlist is wildly outside the bounds of basic liberties Americans are afforded.

Believe it or not, the governor’s statements actually only got more infuriating.

“There are restrictions on free speech, there are restrictions on my freedoms. In this emergency, this 11-year-old, and all these parents who have lost all these children, they deserve my attention to have the debate about whether or not in an emergency we can create a safer environment. Because what about their constitutional rights? I took an oath to uphold those too, and if we ignore this growing problem without being bold, I’ve said to every other New Mexican, your rights are subrogated to theirs.”

It’s actually quite frightening how even those at the top of our political system have such an elementary understanding of our Constitution. Because of this, this is all over the place. Americans have restrictions on their freedoms when they violate another person’s fundamental rights or property. But the vast majority of our original laws were in place to restrain the government, not our freedoms. And there’s nothing, again, in our Constitution that says one group of people should have to give up their fundamental rights because something bad happened to another person. 

It is awful when violence occurs. It’s even more awful how bad our justice system is at solving and preventing it when it does occur. And that’s because we’re wasting the bulk of our resources, time, and energy stalking down people who choose to take drugs, chasing immigrants into concentration camps, and ticketing people who don’t get the right made-up business license instead of focusing on violent crime. Those are the reforms that would actually make people safer. 

And those are well within the purview of lawmakers to make. But instead, this governor is using the failures of her administration and the law enforcement working around it as an excuse to go after law-abiding Americans, meaning she is failing the people she’s supposed to be protecting, twice, and making everyone even more unsafe.

You don’t have a right to be “safe,” as the governor childishly claimed in her news conference, you have a right to defend yourself when threats are present.

“Do you really think that criminals are going to hear this message and not carry a gun?” another person asked her.

“Uhh, no.” she said. “But here’s what I do think, it’s a pretty resounding message.”

A pretty resounding message that vulnerable citizens are now unarmed and easier prey.

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Hannah Cox
Hannah Cox
Hannah Cox is a libertarian-conservative writer and co-founder of BASEDPolitics. She's also the host of the BASEDPolitics podcast and an experienced political activist.