New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham’s attempt to put the right to bear arms on ice in Albuquerque for 30 days is off to an inauspicious start; with the first lawsuits already underway, confusion over which law enforcement agency (if any) will try to enforce her mandate, and dozens of gun owners openly defying Grisham’s order by rallying with their firearms in the city’s Old Town on Sunday.
VIDEO THREAD: Gun owners – many visibly armed – rallied in old Town Albuquerque today to openly defy the New Mexico Governor's Executive Order banning the open and concealed carry of firearms there as a one-month "emergency."September 10, 2023
Police did not intervene or enforce the order. pic.twitter.com/BAk0kDZC9A
The rally didn’t feature any arrests or citations for those openly carrying firearms, which must be disappointing to the gun-grabbing governor. In a sign that her experiment in authoritarianism is already backfiring, several participants said their attendance marked the first time they’d ever taken part in an organized protest.
Bob Hurtado had never attended a protest in his life until Sunday.
The former engineer decided to join the crowd gathered at Old Town Plaza because he felt Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham’s recent emergency order suspending the right to carry firearms in public in and around Albuquerque was targeting the wrong people.
“She’s going after the wrong people,” Hurtado said. “I pay my taxes, I’m a God-fearing American and I think we should have our Second Amendment rights. I’m here for that.”
Grisham’s provided no evidence that any of the recent shootings in Albuquerque have been committed by lawful gun owners and those possessing a concealed carry permit, though even if she had it still wouldn’t justify her attempted end-run around the U.S. and New Mexico constitutions. Not only is Grisham now facing a court fight she’s certain to lose, but potential political consequences as well.
Among those who were present at the rally was Rep. Stefani Lord, R-Bernalillo and Torrance counties.
Lord had announced on her X, previously known as Twitter, account on Saturday that she, along with Rep. John Block, R-Otero County, were calling for the governor’s impeachment. She said in a statement that “the emergency order violates the Governor’s oath to protect and defend the rights of New Mexicans.”
At Sunday’s rally, she said they have already filed the Article of Impeachment and expects to carry the effort forward.
“It has to go to our legal counsel first and we plan on pursing this all the way. It’s also going to depend on if we get support on the Democrats’ side and we actually might with this,” Lord said. “Because she has gone too far that every single person agrees that what she did was illegal.”
Do Democrats stand with the governor who’s violated the rights of their constituents or do they side with those folks whose right to bear arms in self-defense has been flagrantly abused by Grisham’s order, whether or not it’s ultimately enforced? If I had to guess, I’d say most of her fellow Dems are going to stick with her, at least for now, though it’s worth noting that Grisham and legislative Democrats have already been at odds over her anti-gun agenda this year. At one point Grisham even threatened to call lawmakers back to Santa Fe for a special session when they failed to pass several items on her anti-gun wish list, but backed off when it became clear that there wasn’t enough support to approve a ban on so-called assault weapons, prohibiting adults under 21 from purchasing firearms, and imposing a 14-day waiting period on all firearm transfers.
Tom will have more on the impeachment threat in another post later today, but suffice it to say that Grisham’s exercise shows both a lack of political acumen and utter contempt for the Constitution, and lawmakers have every reason tovote to remove her from office for ignoring her oath. Meanwhile, expect lawful gun owners in New Mexico’s biggest city to continue to defy the governor’s unconstitutional order and exercise their fundamental right to bear arms in self-defense.