After New Mexico instituted a 30-day gun ban in the city of Albuquerque, many state and national figures called out the bold move for its radical opposition to the Second Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.
On Friday, Sept. 9, New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham issued an executive order banning firearms, open carry and concealed carry, both in Albuquerque and around the city.
“The firearms suspension, classified as an emergency public health order, applies to open and concealed carry in most public places, from city sidewalks to urban recreational parks. The restriction is tied to a threshold for violent crime rates currently only met by the metropolitan Albuquerque,” according to the Associated Press.
The ban is ordered to last for 30 days in an effort to reduce gun violence in Duke City. Many voiced their opposition to the executive order, proposing alternative methods to reduce gun violence without outright banning firearms.
Governor Grisham expected pushback for her order, though, “telling reporters she expected legal challenges and that state police would handle enforcement,” according to the Associated Press.
However, Governor Grisham may have not expected pushback from within. Shortly after the order was issued, the Sheriff for Bernalillo County, which encompasses Albuquerque, announced his staunch opposition to the executive 30-day gun ban.
News of Bernalillo County Sheriff John Allen’s official position on the executive order hit headlines on Monday, Sept. 11.
Sheriff Allen claimed: “‘The temporary ban challenges the foundations of our Constitution, but most importantly, it is unconstitutional. My oath was to protect the Constitution, and that is what I will do,’” according to the Washington Examiner.
Instead of deterring gun violence, Sheriff Allen has found the order to be doing the opposite.
Furthermore, Sheriff Allen sees the executive order as harmful to those who need to use firearms to defend themselves against criminal activity.
The Bernalillo County Sheriff used a personal story of his to make his reasoning clear:
“‘Last week, as I’m sitting here as the sitting sheriff, I get a phone call that my brother also was a victim of gun violence last week that many of you do not know,’ Allen said. ‘He and my nephew were sitting in their car when they were shot at, and their vehicle was impacted by numerous rounds. How can I, as a sheriff, tell him to put his firearms away and not be able to protect himself?’” according to the Washington Examiner.
Sheriff Allen said the New Mexico governor sprung the order on New Mexican law enforcement abruptly:
“Allen said the governor, who was meeting with top law enforcement officials on Friday, sprung on them news of her plan just moments before her news conference. He said he was both shocked and irritated, after law enforcement officials had warned the governor not to go through with it,” according to the Associated Press.
Sheriff Allen is not the only New Mexican official to voice his opposition to the executive order. Albuquerque Mayor Tim Keller, Albuquerque Chief of Police Harold Medina and Bernalillo County District Attorney Sam Bregman, a leader in the New Mexican Democratic party, have also announced they will not support the 30-day gun ban.
The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) has made statements about their concern surrounding Governor Grisham’s order, “expressing fear that it could lead to overzealous policing and infringe on privacy,” according to the Associated Press.
In alliance with other government officials, Sheriff Allen has requested the New Mexico Legislature hold a special session on the unconstitutional executive order.