Michelle Lujan Grisham, the Democratic Governor of New Mexico, recently held a press conference to laud herself for enacting legally dubious gun restriction legislation.
Her original 30-day restriction of constitutional rights was roundly condemned. Bernalillo County Sheriff John Allen, who is backed by Everytown for Gun Safety, flatly refused to enforce it.
Now, as the governor extended her “emergency order” for another 30 days, she lauded Albuquerque’s early gains in combating illicit firearm usage. The majority of the outcomes she celebrates, however, are the consequence of law enforcement being tough and holding criminals accountable for breaking the law, rather than reducing the liberties of law-abiding New Mexicans.
Criminals appear to be continuing.
It’s a pattern for Governor Grisham. It’s always about going too far and curtailing rights, then backing down when she’s thwarted. During her first term, she used her gun control credentials to compete in the Moms Demand Action/Everytown for Gun Safety Veepstakes to join President Joe Biden’s presidential campaign ticket. Her sales pitch was a failure.
During the COVID-19 outbreak, the governor attempted to restrict gun rights by closing down handgun dealers because they were not “essential.” The outcry was immediate and ferocious. When confronted with the legal certainty that her order would fail constitutional muster, including legal challenges supported by the National Shooting Sports Foundation, the governor bowed and permitted handgun dealers to reopen.
Back in September, the governor was at it again. In Bernalillo County, she declared a public health emergency, suspending Second Amendment rights and prohibiting all authorized open and hidden carrying of weapons.
“There are literally too many people to arrest,” the governor said. “If there’s an emergency … I can invoke additional powers. No constitutional right, in my view … is intended to be absolute.”
Even some of the gun control industry’s most steadfast schemers, including March for Our Lives co-founder David Hogg, slammed the revelation. U.S. Rep. David Lieu (D-Calif.) blasted Governor Grisham’s argument on social media, writing, “This order from the Governor of New Mexico violates the U.S. Constitution… There is no exception to the US Constitution for state public health emergencies.”
A judge once again issued a temporary restraining order on the concealed and open carry elements of the public health order. Again, the governor retreated, reducing her decree but prolonging the first 30-day directive by another thirty days while legal challenges were resolved.
Gov. Grisham is undeterred by the legal wrangling. She organized a news conference to applaud her leadership abilities.
“I won’t rest until we don’t have to talk about (gun violence) as an epidemic and a public health emergency,” the governor said. Responding to questions about her abilities to impose the anti-Second Amendment restrictions, the governor sounded like former Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.). “That’s a question that’s now moving to the courts. I need to know what we can and cannot do to keep New Mexicans safe,” she said.
The governor’s “successes” have less to do with law-abiding, permit-carrying New Mexicans and more to do with going tough on criminals who are already breaking the law and holding them accountable.
The arrests of more than 500 persons, “many for misdemeanors,” over the last three weeks were emphasized by Gov. Grisham, according to the media. She “celebrated” the safe return of 20 stolen guns. Over the last five years, more than 5,000 weapons have been reported stolen in Albuquerque.
Gov. Grisham also welcomed the fact that there were 38 fewer reported gun rounds detected over three days…a statistical blip lower than the previous year’s daily average of 100.
Off-topic, New Mexico Public Health Department Secretary Patrick Allen stated, “Gun violence is a disease, a contagion with symptoms,” adding that “homicides and criminal shootings are driving increases in gun violence.” According to State Corrections Secretary Alisha Lucero, focusing recent arrests on criminals has resulted in an 11% increase in the Metropolitan Detention Center’s jail population.
What Gov. Grisham and her cabinet officials didn’t divulge — or didn’t want to accept — was what percentage, if any, of the felons detained were lawfully permitted to be there in the first place. This is most likely because the number is close to zero.
Gov. Grisham made no mention of law-abiding New Mexicans exercising their Second Amendment rights while committing crimes or being included in her “stats of success,” most likely because none existed. Or, at the very least, none.
Data demonstrate that concealed carry permit holders commit extremely few crimes with their firearms. According to research, only 0.002% of law-abiding permit holders in New Mexico have had their permits withdrawn for any reason, including a conviction for nonviolent misdemeanors, much alone intentional violent acts.
Furthermore, studies conducted by the Department of Justice’s (DOJ) Bureau of Justice Statistics consistently show that criminals convicted of crimes involving a firearm admitted over 90% of the time that the firearm they criminally misused was obtained illegally, either through theft, the black market, or other illegal means.
Nobody believes Governor Grisham. She’s only making herself seem foolish. Except that she is interfering with New Mexicans’ constitutional rights.
Her extraordinary public health emergency decree was a ruse. The “successes” she brags about are the result of law enforcement going after criminals who were already breaking the law, rather than curtailing the rights of law-abiding persons that her phony gun control orders harmed.