On Monday, a sheriff from New Mexico declined to enforce a temporary firearm carry ban instated by Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham in Albuquerque and its neighboring Bernalillo County. The sheriff, John Allen, expressed concerns about the ban’s constitutionality and the potential for political unrest.
Following recent tragic incidents involving children, Governor Lujan Grisham, affiliated with the Democratic Party, introduced a 30-day restriction last Friday. This ban is a move to prevent the carrying of firearms, whether concealed or openly, in the regions, as mentioned earlier, with the hope of reducing shootings.
This decision has been met with significant opposition from gun rights advocates nationwide. Demonstrations occurred in Albuquerque on Sunday, with attendees openly displaying firearms.
Sheriff Allen expressed concerns about the safety of his deputies in enforcing such a ban. During a media briefing, he mentioned, “Implementing this order won’t necessarily decrease gun violence. It primarily impacts those who are exercising their lawful right to self-defense.”
The directive has even seen resistance within the Democratic Party. California’s Representative Ted Lieu is among those who believe it infringes upon the Second Amendment, which protects citizens’ rights to bear arms.
The governor declared gun violence a public health crisis after a heartbreaking incident where an 11-year-old was fatally shot in Albuquerque, believed to have resulted from road rage. This marked another chapter in the city’s ongoing struggle with elevated homicide rates over the past two years.
Defending her decision, the governor highlighted her authority over state firearm laws, enabling her to issue such directives to address increasing gun-related incidents. Nevertheless, her order was promptly contested in a U.S. district court by a Colorado-based gun rights organization.
Albuquerque’s police chief, Harold Medina, clarified that the state police, not the local police, would handle violations of this directive, which could result in penalties up to $5,000. The New Mexico State Police, represented by spokesman Ray Wilson, has reported no citations related to the order.