A video showing comments the New Mexico governor made about guns and the U.S. Constitution has gone viral.
You can watch the video later in this story. Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham made the comments in the video to explain why she issued an order to suspend open and concealed carry of guns in the City of Albuquerque for 30 days, according to the Associated Press.
A gun-rights group has already sued the governor, arguing her actions are unconstitutional, AP reported.
Albuquerque police said in a news release that the governor “issued a 30-day state order that limits gun possession in Bernalillo County, including the City of Albuquerque. The governor made it clear that state law enforcement, and not APD, will be responsible for enforcement of civil violations of the order.”
Grisham’s actions and comments came after the shooting death of Froylan Villegas, 11.
Here’s what you need to know:
Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham Said That No Constitutional Right Is Absolute in the Video
In the video, Grisham was asked by a reporter about the value of the civil order, since the incidents she cited are already crimes. “Why not just do better law enforcement?” the reporter asked.
Grisham responded by saying, “The value of the order is, it gives me three things, 1) it says it’s a statewide issue, and it’s a message to everyone to start leveraging their resources and arresting people; 2) the jurisdictions come at this, including with the DOJ restrictions, differently without the leveraging and additional resources arresting and where do they go? We have to make sure everyone is bumping up their services; 3) it’s a message to the metropolitan detention center. It’s a message to the HMOs – you better figure out treatment.”
The governor added, “We have been sort of stalled out, to your point. This order basically says stop stalling out. And to your point, just arrest everyone. Well, I also have to have the ability; I can’t arrest everyone. There are literally too many people to arrest.”
The reporter told the governor that if someone with a concealed carry permit was walking down the street in Albuquerque, they were not going to get arrested.
“I can make the point that maybe they should be,” she responded. “And this is the point; I am willing to do anything and everything within a shred of evidence-based effort because if you’re not horrified that on any street corner in too many cities in New Mexico, there is someone with a gun sticking out of their waist or their belt. And I’ll tell you, if you’re a young person, you’re not allowed to have a handgun.”
The reporter pointed out that she was acting on things that are crimes already.
“I’ve got it, but we won’t be able to arrest all of them,” Grisham responded. “In a perfect world, if this was upheld, it gives all of these police officers the ability to focus on the real criminals. But your point is valid.”
The reporter said she took an oath to the Constitution and asked whether the order was unconstitutional.
“With one exception, if there’s an emergency and I’ve declared an emergency for a temporary amount of time, I can invoke additional powers,” said Grisham. “No constitutional right in my view, including my oath, is intended to be absolute. There are restrictions on my free speech; there are restrictions on my freedoms. In this emergency, this 11-year-old and all these parents who have lost all of these children, they deserve my attention.”
She added: “To have the debate about whether or not in an emergency we can create a safer environment. Because what about their constitutional rights? I took an oath to uphold those too. And if we ignore this growing problem without being bold, I’ve said to every other New Mexican your rights are sublimated to those. And they are not in my view.”
The reporter said there were already laws against the crimes she had cited.
“Again, if I’m unsafe, who is standing up for that right? If this climate is so out of control, somebody should do something. I’m doing as much as I know how to do,” Grisham said.
Asked by the reporter whether she thought criminals wouldn’t carry guns, she responded, “No, but here’s what I do think. It’s a pretty resounding message.”
According to AP, the governor classified the gun ban as an “emergency public health order.”
It’s “tied to a threshold for violent crime rates currently only met by the metropolitan Albuquerque,” and exempts police and licensed security guards, AP reported.
According to Sante Fe New Mexican, the order states, “no person, other than a law enforcement officer or licensed security officer, shall possess a firearm … either openly or concealed, within cities or counties averaging 1,000 or more violent crimes per 100,000 residents per year since 2021.”
Albuquerque Police Won’t Enforce the Gun Order & the Sheriff Raised Constitutional Concerns
Albuquerque police have released a vehicle description in the shooting death of Villegas.
On September 6, 2023, police wrote on X that a shooting “resulted in the death of an 11-year-old boy. Someone fired several shots at a truck the boy was in as it traveled westbound on Avenida Cesar Chavez near University Blvd. An adult female was also shot and hospitalized.”
According to Santa Fe New Mexican, the child was killed “near the Isotopes’ baseball park in Albuquerque” in what appeared to be a road rage incident.
The AP reported that Albuquerque’s Police Chief Harold Medina said he would not enforce the governor’s gun order, and the sheriff raised concerns about enforcing the order because “it raises too many questions about constitutional rights.”
According to police, “Our officers at APD will continue to focus on the enforcement of criminal laws and arresting criminals who are driving violent crime in the city.”
They wrote that they have “arrested over 200 murder suspects in the last two years and field officers are making dozens of felony arrests every day.”
An 11-year-old boy and a 5-year-old girl were “tragically killed in indiscriminate gun violence,” police wrote.
READ NEXT: Jimmy Buffett’s Wife, Jane Slagsvol