The sheriff of New Mexico’s largest city and surrounding county declared on Monday that he would not enforce Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham’s ban on concealed carry, claiming that it violated the state constitution and may lead to political bloodbath.
In response to the recent shooting killings of children, Democratic Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham restricted the right to carry handguns in Albuquerque and Bernalillo County for 30 days on Friday.
The verdict infuriated gun-rights advocates in the United States. Demonstrators openly carried firearms and pistols at Sunday’s protest in downtown Albuquerque.
Sheriff John Allen of Bernalillo County said that he did not want to oblige his deputies to enforce the ordinance due to the risk it presented to them.
“This order will do nothing to reduce gun violence except punish law-abiding citizens with a constitutional right to self-defense,” Allen said during a press conference.
Some Democrats, notably California’s U.S. Representative Ted Lieu, have spoken out against the order, claiming that it violates the Second Amendment’s guarantee of the right to keep and bear arms in the United States.
Following the death of an 11-year-old boy in an apparent incident of road rage in Albuquerque last week, Mayor Lujan Grisham declared gun violence a public health emergency. Albuquerque’s murder rate has risen at an unparalleled pace in the previous two years.
The governor, now in her second term, claimed she had the right to issue a civil order to reduce gun crime since she was in charge of state laws governing concealed and open carry of guns. A Colorado gun rights group promptly filed an appeal in federal district court against her verdict.
When asked who would be held responsible for the up to $5,000 penalties for civil violations of the order, Albuquerque Police Chief Harold Medina said the state police, not his officers.
No citations have been issued, according to New Mexico State Police spokesman Ray Wilson.