The battle over the Second Amendment is taking center stage in New Mexico, as Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham (D) now faces a lawsuit for her emergency order banning firearms in Albuquerque. The order, announced last week, temporarily suspends the right to carry a firearm — either concealed or open — for 30 days in the city.
The National Association for Gun Rights and Albuquerque resident Foster Haines lead the charge against Grisham’s emergency declaration. They argue that the governor’s move blatantly violates the Second Amendment and stands at odds with a recent Supreme Court decision that struck down New York’s concealed carry law, claiming it wasn’t based on historical tradition. “There is no such historical tradition of firearms regulation in this Nation,” the complaint reads.
New Mexico Governor Michelle Grisham just declared a "gun violence public emergency" and BANNED the public carry of guns in Albuquerque and the surrounding county by executive order.
— National Association for Gun Rights (@NatlGunRights) September 9, 2023
It’s not just conservatives sounding the alarm. Even some liberals are joining the chorus of constitutional concerns. Rep. Ted Lieu (D-CA) tweeted, “No state in the union can suspend the federal Constitution.” David Hogg, a prominent gun control advocate, echoed similar sentiments, stating there’s “no such thing as a state public health emergency exception to the U.S. Constitution.”
Elon Musk, owner of the X platform, formerly Twitter, also weighed in. “At risk of stating what should be obvious, deliberately violating the Constitution is next-level illegal,” Musk posted on X.
At risk of stating what should be obvious, deliberately violating the Constitution is next-level illegal.
How soon can this person be removed from office?
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) September 9, 2023
Grisham, however, believes her emergency powers justify the ban. “No constitutional right, in my view, including my oath, is intended to be absolute,” she told reporters. But here lies the crux of the issue. If governors can suspend constitutional rights during a declared emergency, where does it stop? Does the Constitution have an asterisk, indicating fine print subject to interpretation by state officials?
It is fairly obvious that Ted Lieu, David Hogg and others were given a memo to address the error of the New Mexico governor. They realized this level of interference in the 2nd amendment would rile up the base for 2024.
So they had to immediately distance themselves and they… https://t.co/NzdGhSKdCY
— Wall Street Silver (@WallStreetSilv) September 10, 2023
The governor cites recent shootings and a supposed state of fear among New Mexicans as the rationale for her draconian move. But if we’re being straightforward, her approach may disarm law-abiding citizens while doing little to deter criminals. As New Mexico State Reps. Stefani Lord (R) and John Block (R) pointed out that the governor’s admission indicates that this order “won’t prohibit criminals from carrying or using weapons.”
Bernalillo County Sheriff John Allen also expressed concerns over the order’s constitutional implications. “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,” he said.
The ramifications of this legal battle could extend far beyond New Mexico. It highlights the limitations of executive power in times of crisis. It questions whether any elected official has the right to infringe upon fundamental freedoms guaranteed by the Constitution. With lawmakers on both sides of the aisle raising their eyebrows, this could become a landmark case that defines the true scope of the Second Amendment for years to come.