Democratic Bernalillo County Sheriff John Allen highlighted the flaws in a contentious order that would have restricted the Second Amendment rights of New Mexicans.
While citing concerns about “public health,” New Mexico Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham (D) banned open and concealed carry regulations for 30 days in Albuquerque and Bernalillo County last week. Although Allen took his oath of office seriously, he said at a news conference on Monday that he would not implement the anti-Second Amendment order.
The interim restriction not only violates the Constitution but also threatens its very underpinnings. He said he took an oath to defend the Constitution and intended on “doing just that,” Allen said.
The sheriff then detailed the order’s underlying flaw, which Lujan Grisham had admitted was an issue.
Allen argued that the order would do little to reduce gun violence and only deprive law-abiding persons of their right to self-defense.
He said he could tell you with certainty that lawbreakers would not comply with a public-health edict.
“Criminals will never obey the law,” he said. Allen said it’s worth repeating that “this exclusively punishes law-abiding folks.”
Allen used the recent shooting death of his brother as an example of the devastating effects of gun violence.
He said he received a phone call that his brother was a victim of gun violence the previous week. He said his nephew and his brother were sitting in their automobile when they were fired upon. He asked how, as a sheriff, he could order him to surrender his weapons, leaving him defenseless.
Allen disclosed that Lujan Grisham gave law enforcement authorities little warning of the order before publicizing it. He felt “irritation and rage” as a result of the decision.
Lujan Grisham is standing by the directive despite the criticism. Protesters who flagrantly disobeyed the directive over the weekend were also promised repercussions by her administration.
State police will be issuing penalties for violating the governor’s order, according to a statement released by his spokeswoman, Caroline Sweeny.
Albuquerque’s Democratic mayor, Tim Keller, and police chief Harold Medina joined Allen in speaking against this directive.