New Mexico sheriff refuses to enforce dictator governor’s gun ban

Dictator want to be Michelle Lujan Grisham got steamed yesterday when the Bernalillo County Sheriff John Allen declared her order suspending the US Constitution unlawful and refused to enforce the New Mexico governor’s edict to arrest people carrying firearms in an otherwise lawful manner.

Allen, who apparently attended a civics class or two more than Lujan Grisham, went public with his refusal yesterday, and further stated that he’d tried to warn Lujan Grisham that she didn’t have the authority to issue the order.

And even apart from the issue of constitutionality, Allen insinuated that Lujan Grisham’s order was little more than a political stunt. If out-of-control crime is the pretext, how does it help to spend law enforcement on law-abiding citizens?

“It’s unconstitutional, so there’s no way we can enforce that order,” Allen said during a press conference Monday. “This ban does nothing to curb gun violence.”

Lujan Grisham used a public health emergency order Friday to outlaw the open and concealed carry of firearms in parts of the state that meet a threshold of violent crime — only Albuquerque meets that threshold. The order will last 30 days.

Allen, a Democrat, adds to a growing backlash against Lujan Grisham’s order. A Second Amendment rights group has already sued the state, claiming the order violates gun ownership rights.

The National Association for Gun Rights cited last year’s Supreme Court decision limiting New York gun reform in its suit.

“The State must justify the Carry Prohibition by demonstrating that it is consistent with the Nation’s historical tradition of firearm regulation,” the lawsuit reads. “But it is impossible for the State to meet this burden, because there is no such historical tradition of firearms regulation in this Nation.”

Inside Bernalillo County, Albuquerque’s chief of police and mayor also questioned Lujan Grisham's gun ban order.

Albuquerque Mayor Tim Keller and Police Chief Harold Medina said city police won’t enforce the order. Keller, a Democrat, said in a statement the city welcomes “meaningful solutions and additional resources to fight crime in Albuquerque,” but said city police were “not responsible for enforcing the governor’s ban.”

Lujan Grisham has attracted criticism from multiple GOP presidential candidates, including Vivek Ramaswamy, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis and former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie.

“She’s not going to succeed here,” Christie said Tuesday. “This is so clearly and blatantly unconstitutional, I think it will be knocked down.” 

He added that Lujan Grisham should be “reprimanded” for the move.

So let us recap, shall we? Not only did Lujan Grisham fail to grasp basic American civics, she ignored the advice from literally all of the local law enforcement and political leadership on the policy she pushed — and all of these are fellow Democrats. None of them will cooperate with her, which means Lujan Grisham has to send the state police to issue civil summons without cooperation from either the police force or the sheriff’s deputies.

Clearly, Lujan Grisham has settled very well into the role of Tyrant in Chief. And as such, she’s reacting just as one would expect. In a statement issued after Allen’s press conference, Lujan Grisham berated Allen for not using the tools she so generously provided him to enforce her police state:

“I don’t need a lecture on constitutionality from Sheriff Allen: what I need is action. What we need is for leaders to stand up for the victims of violent crime. We need law enforcement, district attorneys, public officials, school leaders and state agencies to use every single tool at their disposal to stop this violence. Period.

"This is an administration that has treated the gun violence epidemic as the crisis that it is. We’ve passed common-sense gun legislation, including red flag laws, domestic violence protections, a ban on straw purchases, and safe storage laws; dedicated hundreds of millions of dollars to a fund specifically to help law enforcement hire and retain officers; increased penalties for violent offenders and provided massive support to intervention programs.

We’ve given you the tools, Sheriff Allen— now stop being squeamish about using them. I will not back down from doing what’s right and I will always put the safety of the people of New Mexico first.”

Will calling Allen a wimp help convince him to violate his own oath to support and defend the Constitution? Certainly not, but it might convince a court to put a quicker end to Emperor Lujan Grisham’s order. The lawsuits are piling up in New Mexico already, hoping to get a hearing before the 30-day time limit expires and Lujan Grisham can skate on mootness. At least one plaintiff got some bad news about the prospects for a fast hearing.

The first court hearing for any of the complaints (a lawsuit brought by Gun Owners of America and an individual plaintiff) has been postponed indefinitely by U.S. District Court Judge David Urias, a Biden appointee who took his place on the bench last January.

Four Boxes Diner’s Mark Smith says the delay doesn’t look good for the plaintiffs, though he acknowledges “we will need to let this play out a few days to see what happens,” adding that “New Mexico is politically a deep Blue state so my working assumption is that the federal district court judges there have been handpicked by leftist politicians to ensure left-wing judicial results. Still, it will be hard for any judge to get around the clear holding of Bruen, and then to allow a governor to suspend a fundamental constitutional right ‘just because.’”

As Smith says, we do need to see how this plays out. If Urias was really trying to allow the clock to run out on Grisham’s order before issuing a ruling, I’m not sure why he would have scheduled the hearing on a TRO for this morning to begin with. This could truly be a staffing or a conflict with the judge’s calendar, but we’ll have a better idea once we see the new date for the hearing.

The federal court had better act soon, because Lujan Grisham claims that citations for violation of the Emperor’s diktat have already started going out to people caught in the act of, er, lawfully bearing arms. However, this may end up backfiring if the governor expects to escape a court beating via mootness.

That means that the impacts of this policy will be unlimited by time. Citations remain on the records of people who receive them, and might interfere with their ability to keep and bear arms, now or in the future. That means courts will have to rule on the merits of Lujan Grisham’s suspension of the US Constitution whether it remains in effect or not.

Plus, there’s also the creep factor in this “enforcement.” State police are basically being used by Lujan Grisham as a kind of Stasi rather than a law-enforcement agency. In the US, law enforcement officers typically engage with people who break the law, even including traffic infractions in most cases, to determine whether to issue citations or summonses. This more closely resembles a secret police in a dictatorship, tasked with stealthily collecting violations and punishing those who oppose the dictator’s policies through lawfare.

Lujan Grisham is not just rhetorically assuming the role of dictator. She is reorganizing the state of New Mexico to create authoritarianism. As I wrote yesterday, the state legislature has the only constitutional tool available to deal with an executive that rejects the federal and state constitutions and rules on executive power. If the Democrats that dominate the state legislature will not impeach and remove Lujan Grisham for this gross violation of constitutional order, then they are complicit in the illegal regime Lujan Grisham is creating.

Voters in New Mexico had better think hard about that at the next election. Assuming, that is, that Emperor Michelle I allows them to have another election, or suspends it for her next convenient “emergency.”

Dan Butcher

Dan Butcher (aka HP Pundit) is not a Democrat or Republican. He is a free thinking independent bringing you news and commentary with a dose of much needed common sense.

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