Democrats back away from New Mexico Governor Grisham’s controversial gun order

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Sen. Martin Heinrich, D-N.M., left, speaks as Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., right, listens after a policy luncheon, Tuesday, July 11, 2023, on Capitol Hill in Washington. Mariam Zuhaib / AP Photo

Even a Democratic U.S. Senator from New Mexico is critical of the gun control measure recently taken by New Mexico Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham

U.S. Sen. Martin Heinrich, D-New Mexico, recently issued a statement that said gun violence is a problem in New Mexico but implied the governor’s executive order is an unworkable solution that won’t save lives.

“The gun violence in New Mexico and across our country has had devastating impacts on families, communities, and our sense of safety,” Heinrich said in the release. “It’s why I led the effort on the first federal gun reform law passed in nearly three decades. There is more that can and should be done to stem the violence and ensure every American can feel safe at school, at the grocery store, or at the movie theatre. As we do that work, we need to focus on solutions that are constitutional and enforceable. That’s what will save lives.”

The executive order signed by Lujan Grisham banned carrying a loaded firearm in public in Bernalillo County, including Albuquerque, for 30 days. Those who violate the rule face a civil fine of $5,000, as The Center Square previously reported.

Heinrich is not the first Democrat to argue that the governor’s action is unconstitutional.

Bernalillo County Sheriff John Allen, a Democrat, announced Monday that his department will not enforce the governor’s 30-day ban, arguing that it violates the Second Amendment.

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

Similarly, U.S. Rep. Ted Lieu, D-California, opposes the measure despite supporting gun control.

“I support gun safety laws,” Lieu posted on social media. “However, this order from the Governor of New Mexico violates the U.S. Constitution.”

Lieu cited the Supreme Court’s decision in the 2022 N.Y. State Rifle and Pistol Association v. Bruen decision as a reason why this executive order is unconstitutional. In the decision, the court struck down a New York law requiring applicants to show “proper cause” for getting a permit to carry a gun.

“Whether or not we agree with it, the Supreme Court’s decisions regarding the Constitution are the law of the land,” wrote Lieu.

Liberal gun rights activist David Hogg, who has publicly backed Democratic politicians for the past five years, thinks the governor’s measure goes too far as well.

“I support gun safety, but there is no such thing as a state public health emergency exception to the U.S. Constitution,” Hogg posted on social media.

Republished with the permission of The Center Square.