A sheriff in New Mexico refused to enforce strict gun control laws in Albuquerque, saying they were unconstitutional. Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham outlawed gun possession in the state’s largest city and the surrounding Bernalillo County for 30 days – the ban started on September 8.
The Governor’s move outraged gun rights proponents across the US, and at a rally on September 10, protestors openly held pistols and rifles aloft. Bernalillo County Sheriff John Allen said any attempt to enforce the ban would have endangered his deputies and caused more problems than it solved. “This order will not do anything to curb gun violence other than punish law-abiding citizens who have a constitutional right to self-defense,” he said.
Following the fatal shooting of a young boy in a road rage incident, Governor Lujan Grisham issued what she called an emergency order. She argued that the move was necessary because gun violence was out of control and “90 percent higher than the national average.” She added that the Cactus State had lost 143 children to gun violence since 2017.
The order obliges law enforcement to issue $5,000 fines to anyone carrying a firearm on state property and suspends the state’s open and concealed carry gun laws but provides exemptions for security guards or law enforcement officials and permits people to use firearms on private property provided they are transported in a box with a trigger lock or “some other mechanism that renders the gun incapable of being fired.” The injunction applied to Bernalillo County only.
When she issued the order, Governor Lujan Grisham was immediately met with lawsuits, and a federal judge blocked the law by mid-September. The National Association for Gun Rights, who filed the lawsuit, said, “There is no exception to the Second Amendment.” Fellow Democrats also criticized the Governor’s action, with Rep. Ted Lieu of California calling it an infringement on Constitutional rights.
Police did not issue any citations while the law was in force.