So, as we've seen, the Land of Enchantment has decided to enchant us all with a daring suspension of the Second Amendment. Who needs the right to bear arms when you can just bear witness to this unprecedented move? It's almost like they've transported us back to the Wild West, minus the Spurs and saloon brawls. But hey, why stop at guns? Maybe next month, they'll suspend the First Amendment too, just for kicks. More on this below. Keep reading, because in New Mexico, even the Constitution is subject to debate.
In a shocking twist of events, New Mexico's Democratic Governor, Michelle Lujan Grisham, has taken an unprecedented step by suspending the Second Amendment in an effort to combat rising gun violence in the state. While her intentions may be noble, this move has sparked controversy and legal uncertainty. Let's dive into this extraordinary development and dissect the implications of this executive order.
A Public Health Emergency
Governor Grisham declared a public health emergency in response to a series of tragic incidents involving children: a thirteen-year-old girl on July 28, a five-year-old girl on August 14, and an eleven-year-old boy on September 6. These heart-wrenching events prompted her to take drastic action. However, it's important to note that this declaration has effectively banned all residents of Albuquerque and Bernalillo County from carrying firearms for the next 30 days, whether they have a permit or not.
The Fine Print
According to the emergency declaration, individuals, other than law enforcement officers or licensed security officers, are prohibited from possessing firearms within cities or counties with an annual violent crime rate of 1,000 or more incidents per 100,000 residents since 2021. This sets a restrictive tone, yet it's not clear if such measures will pass legal scrutiny.
During a news conference, Governor Grisham acknowledged the possibility of legal challenges to this public health order. She emphasized that its current scope applies exclusively to Albuquerque and Bernalillo County, and it can only be enforced by New Mexico State Police. Violating the order would likely result in a misdemeanor charge, but it does not apply on private property or at licensed gun dealers or shooting ranges. While traveling, firearms must be securely stored.
Addressing the Root Causes
Governor Grisham's order also mandates the state Department of Health to compile and issue a comprehensive report on gunshot victims presenting at hospitals in New Mexico. Additionally, it calls for measures to combat substance abuse, including wastewater testing for drugs like fentanyl at public schools. The governor seems determined to tackle the broader issues contributing to gun violence.
The Future of the Order
After the initial 30-day period, Governor Grisham stated her administration would consider amendments or removal of the order based on evolving circumstances. This flexibility reflects her intention to adapt her approach as needed.
The Catalyst: Tragedy Strikes
The decision to suspend the Second Amendment came in the wake of several recent shooting deaths of children in Albuquerque. One particularly distressing incident involved an 11-year-old boy killed near the Isotopes' baseball park, apparently due to road rage. Such tragedies have ignited a heated debate about how to effectively address gun violence.
A Tough Stance
Governor Grisham's order isn't just about policy; it's about taking a strong, direct stand against the rampant gun violence plaguing the community. She highlights the alarming reality that untrained individuals with reckless criminal behavior are openly carrying firearms in their midst, and she refuses to ignore it.
While public safety officials and law enforcement officers grapple with the enforceability of this order, the governor has made it clear that state law enforcement, not local police, will be responsible for civil violations. This decision underscores the complexity of the issue and the challenges of balancing constitutional rights with public safety.
Unsurprisingly, conservatives have criticized Governor Grisham's order as a violation of both state and U.S. constitutions. Albuquerque City Councilor Dan Lewis called on the governor to rescind the order, while Senate Minority Leader Greg Baca slammed it as "unconstitutional" and accused the governor of endangering law-abiding citizens.
A Larger Vision
Governor Grisham's stance on stricter gun laws is not new. She has consistently advocated for such measures, including an assault weapons ban. While previous attempts haven't succeeded, she remains resolute in her commitment to addressing the issue.
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