More than 100 opponents of Democratic Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham’s temporary gun ban, which was implemented in accordance with an urgent public health order, demonstrated in Albuquerque, New Mexico, on Sunday while openly carrying firearms.
“My jaw dropped for a Second Amendment to be suspended. It’s, it’s unconstitutional, we gotta put it that way. A lot of people here feel the same way,” a gun owner identified as Derek J. told local outlet KOB 4.
Over 100 gun owners gathered in the Old Town section of the city to oppose the governor’s decision while waving American flags and yelling, “We will not comply!” Local media portrayed the protest as nonviolent, and it was over by 3 p.m.
“Why I’m here is the people’s voice needs to be heard, those on the ground, those dealing with these situations need to be heard,” protester Jonathan Olivas told KRQE.
Another said: “This governor has overstepped her bounds, twice now, big time, by squashing our constitutional rights, and it’s time for it to stop.”
In an executive order made public on Friday, Lujan Grisham temporarily banned the open and concealed carry regulations in Bernalillo County for at least 30 days. The deadly shootings of a 13-year-old girl in July, a 5-year-old girl in August, and an 11-year-old boy this month served as the impetus for the statement.
“As I said yesterday, the time for standard measures has passed,” the governor said, according to her office’s press release on the order. “And when New Mexicans are afraid to be in crowds, to take their kids to school, to leave a baseball game — when their very right to exist is threatened by the prospect of violence at every turn — something is very wrong.”
During a Friday press conference, the governor said controversially that no fundamental right is “absolute.”
“No constitutional right, in my view, including my oath, is intended to be absolute,” Lujan Grisham told a reporter who asked whether it’s “unconstitutional” to order Americans not to exercise their right to bear arms.
The governor’s press secretary Caroline Sweeney told Fox News Digital on Sunday that the “order does not suspend the Constitution but instead state laws over which the governor has jurisdiction.”
Sweeney added that the governor “was elected to serve the people of New Mexico, and not a day goes by that she doesn’t hear from a constituent asking for more to be done to curb this horrific violence.”
The National Rifle Association (NRA), which labelled the governor’s order “shocking” in an exclusive comment to Fox News Digital over the weekend, has sued Lujan Grisham and expressed outrage from Second Amendment groups.
“In a shocking move, Gov. Lujan Grisham is suspending Second Amendment rights by administrative fiat, ignoring the U.S. Constitution and the New Mexico Constitution,” NRA-ILA Executive Director Randy Kozuch said. “Instead of undermining the fundamental rights of law-abiding New Mexicans, she should address the soft-on-criminal policies which truly endanger its citizens.”
According to KOB 4, Republican state Rep. Stefani Lord, who has been outspoken in her opposition to Grisham’s order and calls for her impeachment, joined the demonstration on Sunday in Old Town.
“So this is why I filed an impeachment, Representative John Block and I filed impeachment, which we plan to have done this week. And we plan on trying to push that through because she has done an illegal act and violated her oath,” said Lord.
“What she should do is go back and look at the bills we tried to present on the Republican side that we tried to make it that if you’re a felon, doing a crime, we want to increase the penalties and keep you behind bars,” she added.
No fines were issued at the demonstration, according to state police, who were in charge of enforcing the weapons ban. Other law enforcement officials in the state, such as Bernalillo County District Attorney Sam Bregman and Albuquerque Police Chief Harold Medina, have declared they will not follow the directive.
Despite the injunction, protesters told reporters they want to keep carrying their weapons, according to KRQE.