When Grisham attempted to suspend the U.S. Constitution in her state in the name of public safety, her executive action was met with a flurry of lawsuits, public demonstrations with gun-carrying protesters, and bewilderment even by many in her own Democratic party.
Just hours after her actions, attorneys were filing court papers. U.S. District Court Judge David Urias, a Joe Biden appointee, issued a temporary injunction Wednesday against Grisham’s ban on open and concealed carry laws across Bernalillo County.
Grisham, an attorney, said her 30-day ban was necessary because of gun-related crimes in Albuquerque, where three children have been shot and killed over the summer. In media interviews, she insisted her public health emergency carried more weight than Second Amendment rights and her state's own constitution.
"I hope that the public's response is we now have elected leaders to have the courage to stand up for children," she told a news program. "I don't know why we're electing individuals who aren't going to stand up for the people who need us to make sure they're safe and protected."
Urias and many other Democrats disagreed. Bernalillo County Sheriff John Allen said his office will not enforce the ban and two Republican lawmakers called for the Governor to be impeached over the orders.
New Mexico Attorney General Raul Torrez refused to represent Grisham and the State of New Mexico in court.
“Raul Torrez, who’s a Democrat, left her to her own in-house counsel to defend herself in court," Brian Festa, an attorney and co-founder of We The Patriots, said on American Family Radio Thursday. "He said, ‘Yes, I recognize the Attorney General normally has an obligation to defend the governor in litigation, but my first obligation is to defend and uphold the Constitution.'"
Festa told show host Jenna Ellis that Urias’ decision is a “great victory" but it’s a temporary one as the injunction expires in 30 days.
“We still have a long road ahead in this,” Festa predicted.
The high court's Bruen ruling should help those who favor gun rights over gun control. The court voted 6-3 last June to invalidate New York’s law requiring a license to carry concealed weapons in public places. In the opinion, Justice Clarence Thomas wrote that the Second Amendment protects the right to carry a handgun for self-defense outside the home.
In the AFR interview, Festa mentioned Bruen and its importance.
“There are two things the court said in the Bruen decision. First, states can lawfully eliminate one kind of public carry, concealed carry, so long as they leave open the option to carry openly. Second, governments may not classify entire cities as sensitive places in order to ban any carrying of firearms in public."
Festa went on to call Gov. Grisham's order "brazen" as if she has the authority to override a ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court.
Sad stats and legal rights
According to Albuquerque police statistics, violent crime in the city fell 6% between 2017 and 2022. However, homicide continues to be a major problem. The city set a record with 110 homicides in 2021 then topped that with 120 homicides in 2022.
Grisham’s attempted ban comes after the shooting deaths of a 13-year-old girl in July, a 5-year-old girl in August and an 11-year-old boy this month, Fox News reported.
Those tragedies aside, Democrats in other states took to social media to side with the U.S. Constitution.
“I support gun safety laws. However, this order from the governor of New Mexico violates the U.S. Constitution," Rep. Ted Lieu (D-California) wrote on X, formerly Twitter. "No state in the union can suspend the federal Constitution. There is no such thing as a state public health emergency exception to the U.S. Constitution."