NM governor caves to massive backlash, significantly weakens emergency order restricting guns
( Blaze )
After only a week of massive backlash to her emergency public health order, New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham (D) significantly softened the gun rights restrictions she implemented.
Grisham had issued the emergency order on Sept. 8 and claimed that she had been motivated by recent gun violence involving children in her state. The most controversial part of the order was a ban on open and concealed carry in public spaces in Bernalillo County, the most populous county of New Mexico.
Her order was lambasted by many on the right and other gun rights advocates who called it blatantly unconstitutional and illegal. Even many Democrats who support gun restrictions came out to criticize Grisham's extreme order.
On Tuesday, the state's attorney general, also a Democrat, told Grisham in a public letter that his office would not defend her against lawsuits related to the order because of its unconstitutionality.
“Simply put, I do not believe that the Emergency Order will have any meaningful impact on public safety but, more importantly, I do not believe it passes constitutional muster," said Attorney General Raúl Torrez.
On Wednesday, a federal judge partially blocked the order until it could be argued on its merits in court on Oct. 3.
Two days later and only a week after she initially issued the order, Grisham significantly weakened its application.
In a media briefing Friday, the governor said the restrictions on open and concealed carry would apply only to public parks and playgrounds where children and their families gather in Albuquerque.
“Last night, we saw violent crime move through the city that resulted in a gun injury, two car hijackings, and a kidnapping with suspects not yet in custody,” said Grisham Friday.
“We have a very serious situation in our communities that requires serious, immediate results," she added.
The gun restriction order was meant to last only 30 days, but Grisham had previously said her office would consider extending it based on the results on crime.
The governor had been ridiculed after she noted that it was unlikely any criminal would follow the order.