By: José Niño

New Mexico State Representatives Stefani Lord and John Block are calling for the impeachment of Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham after she issued an emergency order banning the right to publicly carry firearms in public.

The governor, on September 8, 2023, issued an emergency order banning the right to carry firearms in public all over Albuquerque and the broader Bernalillo County for at least 30 days during a wave of gun violence.

“This is an abhorrent attempt at imposing a radical, progressive agenda on an unwilling populace. Rather than addressing crime at its core, Governor Grisham is restricting the rights of law-abiding gun owners,” Lord’s statement noted.

Only law enforcement and licensed security guards are exempt from the temporary carry prohibition.

Those who violate the order could potentially be subject to civil penalties and fines of up to $5,000, noted Caroline Sweeney, a spokeswoman for New Mexico.

Under this executive order, individuals holding concealed carry permits are still allowed to take firearms to several private locations, such as gun ranges or gun stores. However, in these cases, the firearm must have a trigger lock or some other type of container or mechanism that prevents it from being discharged.

Grisham conceded that not all law enforcement officials supported her decision.

“I welcome the debate and fight about how to make New Mexicans safer,” she stated during a news conference.

John Allen, the Bernalillo County sheriff, declared in a statement late on September 8 that he has misgivings about Lujan Grisham’s order but is prepared to cooperate to address gun violence.

“While I understand and appreciate the urgency, the temporary ban challenges the foundation of our Constitution, which I swore an oath to uphold,” Allen stated. “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.”

Since assuming the governorship in 2019, Lujan Grisham has signed several gun control measures such as a 2020 “red flag” gun confiscation order that grants police or sheriff’s deputies the power to ask a court to temporarily confiscate firearms from individuals who may pose a threat to themselves or others and an expansion of background checks to encompass almost all private firearm sales.

Dudley Brown, the president of the National Association for Gun Rights, commented on Lujan Grisham’s anti-gun measure:

“It’s a no brainer, any Governor who gives the middle finger to the Constitution, especially the Second Amendment, has to go.”

New Mexico is currently ranked in 34th place according to Guns & Ammo magazine’s “Best States for Gun Owners” rankings. So, it’s already a solidly anti-gun jurisdiction. The passage of these measures on top of the issuance of this recent executive order already guarantees that the state will continue falling down an anti-gun path.

Times of perceived “emergencies” are generally exploited by power-hungry politicians to pass tyrannical measures. New Mexico’s case is just the latest chapter of a politician using a perceived crisis to justify a flagrant power grab.

Let’s hope that New Mexico gun owners can band together and push back against Lujan Grisham’s despotic executive action.

José Niño is a freelance writer based in Austin, Texas. Contact him via Facebook, Twitter, or email him at [email protected]. Get his e-book, The 10 Myths of Gun Control, here.