Democratic Leaders in New Mexico Shy Away from Governor’s Controversial Gun Ban Order

In a recent turn of events, Democratic leaders in New Mexico have refrained from publicly supporting Democratic Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham’s controversial order to ban gun possession using public health provisions. The move came after the Daily Caller News Foundation reached out to them for comments on the matter.

Governor Grisham had initially announced the order on September 8, which effectively prohibited the possession of firearms outside of private residences in the city of Albuquerque and Bernalillo County for a 30-day period. However, this order sparked widespread criticism from both gun control advocates and the state’s attorney general, who raised questions about its constitutionality.

When the Daily Caller News Foundation sought responses from New Mexico’s federal and state Democratic elected leaders regarding their stance on the measure, the majority chose not to respond. Only two, Democratic Sen. Martin Heinrich and Democratic Rep. Gabe Vasquez, offered statements.

Sen. Heinrich emphasized the need for constitutional and enforceable solutions to address the issue. He stated, “[W]e need to focus on solutions that are constitutional and enforceable. That’s what will save lives.” Many experts and critics have deemed the order unconstitutional and a violation of Second Amendment rights.

These concerns led Democratic Attorney General Raúl Torrez to refuse to defend the order in court. In a letter to Governor Grisham, Torrez expressed his doubts about the order’s effectiveness and constitutionality, asserting, “The Emergency Order will be found to violate both the Second Amendment of the United States Constitution and Article II, Section 6 of the New Mexico Constitution.”

Predictably, Torrez’s prediction proved accurate when Judge David Urias of the U.S. District Court for the District of New Mexico issued an injunction preventing the ban from taking effect. The judge argued that the plaintiffs had demonstrated a likelihood of success in their claim that the order infringed upon their Second and Fourteenth Amendment rights to carry firearms for self-defense.

In response to the legal and political challenges, Governor Grisham recently announced that she would amend her order to restrict its scope to public parks and areas where children gather.

Apart from Sen. Heinrich and Rep. Vasquez, no other Democratic elected leaders from New Mexico provided responses to the Daily Caller News Foundation’s inquiries. Despite attempts to elicit comments from various prominent figures, including Lt. Gov. Henry Morales and Sen. Ben Ray Lujan, who is Governor Grisham’s cousin, the majority remained silent on the matter.

The controversy continues to highlight the complexities and divisions surrounding the issue of gun control, with Governor Grisham defending her order by stating, “No constitutional right, in my view, including my oath, is intended to be absolute.” However, her decision has faced significant opposition within her own party and beyond, raising questions about the balance between public safety and Second Amendment rights.

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