In light of a tragic incident where a young child was fatally shot during a road rage confrontation, New Mexico’s Governor, Michelle Lujan Grisham, announced a 30-day suspension of the rights for individuals to carry guns in Albuquerque and its adjacent county. The move, swiftly made after labeling gun violence as a public health emergency in the state, raised eyebrows and garnered criticism, particularly from those championing Second Amendment rights.
Governor Grisham’s swift decision to temporarily ban both open and concealed carry laws in the area didn’t come without apprehensions about its legality. The Governor herself noted the possible constitutional challenges her order could face, stating, “I can’t tell you that we win it given all of the different challenges to gun violence laws and restrictions on individual firearm access and control.”
A direct question about the constitutionality of her decision to override laws was posed to the Governor. Her response was anchored in the idea that emergency situations grant her “additional powers.” Expanding on her perspective, Grisham stated, “No constitutional right, in my view, including my oath, is intended to be absolute,” emphasizing the existence of limitations on other rights, including free speech.
However, critics argued that addressing criminal acts by penalizing law-abiding citizens may not be the most effective approach. When a reporter presented the Governor with a poignant question about the real impact of the suspension, asking if criminals would genuinely refrain from carrying guns for the next month, Grisham conceded, replying simply with “Uhhh, no.”
While the tragedy of the 11-year-old’s death is deeply saddening and the concerns surrounding public safety are valid, the effectiveness of the gun-carry suspension remains in question. Governor Grisham’s measures to control the situation in Albuquerque raises broader discussions on the balance between safeguarding public safety and upholding constitutional rights. Only time will tell if this approach makes the streets of Albuquerque safer or if alternative methods, which don’t impinge on constitutional rights, need to be sought.