Bernalillo County Sheriff John Allen, a Democrat, exposed the inherent problems in a controversial order limiting some New Mexicans’ Second Amendment rights.
Last week, New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham (D) unilaterally suspended open and concealed carry laws for 30 days in Albuquerque and Bernalillo County under the guise of “public health.” But Allen said at a press conference on Monday that he will not enforce the anti-Second Amendment order because he takes his oath of office seriously.
“The temporary ban challenges the foundations of our Constitution, but most importantly, it is unconstitutional. My oath was to protect the Constitution, and that is what I will do,” Allen promised.
The sheriff then explained the inherent problem with the order — an issue Lujan Grisham herself acknowledged.
“This order will not do anything to curb gun violence other than punish law-abiding citizens from their constitutional right to self-defense,” Allen said. “I have a fact for you: criminals do not follow the law or a public-health order.
“We will never see criminals follow the law,” he declared. “Once again: this only punished law-abiding citizens.”
Bernalillo Co. Sheriff rejects New Mexico governor’s gun ban through public health order
To prove his point, Allen shared a personal story about his brother, who recently became a victim of gun violence.
“Last week, as I’m sitting here as the sitting sheriff, I get a phone call that my brother also was a victim of gun violence last week that many of you do not know,” he disclosed. “He and my nephew were sitting in their car when they were shot at, and their vehicle was impacted by numerous rounds. How can I, as a sheriff, tell him to put his firearms away and not be able to protect himself?”
Allen did not shy away from Albuquerque’s violent crime problem. But he said Lujan Grisham’s order “overshadows” existing efforts to combat those issues.
Allen, moreover, revealed that Lujan Grisham gave law enforcement officials almost no advance notice of the order before announcing it. That decision left him with “irritation and anger,” he admitted.
Despite the backlash, Lujan Grisham is defending the order. Her office also promised that protesters who openly violated the order over the weekend will face consequences.
“The order is being enforced, and citations will be forthcoming from the State Police,” said Caroline Sweeny, a spokesperson for the governor. “To ensure officer safety, we will not be providing additional details at this time.”
Allen joins Bernalillo County District Attorney Sam Bregman (D), Albuquerque Mayor Tim Keller (D), and Albuquerque Police Chief Harold Medina in opposing the order.
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Author: Chris Enloe
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