On Friday, Bernalillo County, New Mexico, Sheriff John Allen announced that he has "reservations" regarding an order from Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham to suspend firearm laws for 30 days because it "challenges the foundation of our Constitution."
In a post on X, Allen acknowledged that "Every lost life is a tragedy, and the well-being of our community is of paramount concern to the Bernalillo County Sheriff's Office." He said, "However, as the elected Sheriff, I have reservations regarding this order."
"While I understand and appreciate the urgency, the temporary ban challenges the foundation of our Constitution, which I swore an oath to uphold," He continued. "I am wary of placing my deputies in positions that could lead to civil liability conflicts, as well as the potential risks posed by prohibiting law-abiding citizens from their constitutional right to self-defense."
"I was elected to represent and safeguard all constituents and to ensure the balance between our rights and public safety is maintained," Allen said. "That means we must critically evaluate any proposed solution to the deeply rooted issue of gun violence, ensuring we both protect our community and uphold the values that define us as a nation."
Allen listed seven initiatives that his office has implemented to curb gun violence in his jurisdiction. Those initiatives are utilizing extreme risk protection orders, a behavioral health unit, a youth gun violence prevention program, a felon firearm possession intervention, a crime commission initiative, partnering between different agencies, and a violence intervention program.
"While we might not be in complete alignment with the Governor's recent order, we remain steadfast in our commitment to work collaboratively, both with her office and with the community, to find sustainable solutions to the gun violence epidemic plaguing our county," Allen concluded.
Earlier Friday, Governo Grisham announced that she was placing a 30-day ban on open and concealed carrying a firearm in Albuquerque and Bernalillo Counties after an 11-year-old boy was killed on his way home from a baseball game Wednesday. To justify the order, she said, "Gun violence is killing between 2 and 3 children every month in NM - every single one of these deaths is unconscionable and they must stop."
In a press conference, the Governor claimed that if she declared it an emergency it would give her additional powers. She said, "No constitutional right, in my view, including my oath, is intended to be absolute."
"There are restrictions on free speech, there are restrictions on my freedoms," Grisham added. "In this emergency, this 11-year-old and all these parents who have lost all these children, they deserve my attention."
Albuquerque Police Chief Harold Medina Page said his department would not be handling the enforcement of the governor's ban, but that would be left up to state law enforcement agencies to do.
Many have seen the ban as "unconstitutional," while Grisham has made it known she is ready for a legal fight.
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