Bernalillo County Sheriff John Allen (D) has decided to defy Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham's (D) public health order banning the concealed and open carrying of a firearm for 30 days, despite the Governor's insistence that the law is constitutional.
During a press conference on Monday, Allen voiced his displeasure with Governor Grisham's order, saying it fails to tackle gun violence but instead punishes law-abiding citizens. This, he argued, violates the Constitution and he vowed not to enforce the order.
"In reference to concealed carry and open carry, the Bernalillo County Sheriff's Office will not enforce this segment of the order," Allen said. "It is unconstitutional. My oath was to protect the Constitution and that is what I will do."
WATCH: Bernalillo County Sheriff John Allen announces he will not enforce New Mexico Governor's concealed carry and open carry ban
"It is unconstitutional. [...] This order will not do anything to curb gun violence other than punish law abiding citizens from their constitutional… pic.twitter.com/DZswyNwQzY
— Breaking911 (@Breaking911) September 12, 2023
When asked about his department's plans to combat gun-related crime, Allen said they were already taking steps to do so and advised citizens not to worry if they used their firearm in self-defense.
Governor Grisham, however, had a less than pleased reaction to Allen's comments and issued a statement chastising him for not using the tools she has provided.
"I don’t need a lecture on constitutionality from Sheriff Allen: what I need is action," Lujan Grisham said. "We’ve given you the tools, Sheriff Allen — now stop being squeamish about using them. I will not back down from doing what’s right and I will always put the safety of the people of New Mexico first.”
The altercation between Allen and Grisham is indicative of the nationwide disagreement between Democrats and Republicans in regards to gun control. Democrats tend to favor more regulations as a means to combat gun-related crime while Republicans, like Allen, are resistant to anylaws that may infringe on their constitutional rights.
It remains to be seen whether Governor Grisham will enforce her executive order or if Sheriff Allen will continue to challenge her authority. One thing is certain; the battle over gun control in New Mexico is far from over.