New Mexico governor shocks with comment about Constitution after issuing temporary gun ban: 'Not absolute'

New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham was ripped on social media after she told a reporter her oath to the Constitution was 'not absolute' while issuing a temporary gun ban.

Sep 9, 2023 - 17:25
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New Mexico governor shocks with comment about Constitution after issuing temporary gun ban: 'Not absolute'

New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham's controversial comments in defense of a temporary gun ban, prompted fierce backlash on social media.

The Democrat issued an emergency public health order on Friday, suspending the right to carry guns in public across Albuquerque and the surrounding Bernalillo County for at least 30 days following the shooting deaths of three children in the area.

Local law enforcement officials expressed concerns that the governor's order violated Second Amendment rights. The governor acknowledged the ban may face legal challenges and addressed these concerns during a press conference.

After a reporter questioned if Grisham was upholding her oath to the Constitution, she argued no Constitutional rights were fixed, including her oath.

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"No constitutional right, in my view, including my oath, is intended to be absolute," she retorted. Grisham cited restrictions on free speech as an example of how rights can be curtailed in emergency situations. 

Commentators across X, formerly known as Twitter, angrily responded to the governor's statement, with some calling for her impeachment.

"At risk of stating what should be obvious, deliberately violating the Constitution is next-level illegal. How soon can this person be removed from office?" Elon Musk asked.

"The governor of New Mexico is using a public health order to suspend a right guaranteed by the US Constitution. Yes, a public health order," Ron DeSantis Press Secretary Jeremy Redfern reacted. "Did you think the left was going to stop at just forcing you to wear a mask?"

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Some commentators doubted the governor's order would withstand legal challenges. 

"DC v. Heller and McDonald v. Chicago would disagree," conservative political activist and former Texas congressional candidate Christian Collins wrote.

"The order, in my view, is flagrantly unconstitutional under existing Second Amendment precedent," legal scholar Jonathan Turley wrote.

 "It could also be a calculated effort to evade a ruling by making the period of suspension so short. Many will of course celebrate the boldness of Grisham in taking away an individual right under a cleaver measure. It is, however, too cleaver by half. If not found moot at the end of the period, New Mexico could supply a vehicle to curtail future public health rationales," the Fox News contributor added.

"Yea, I doubt a federal judge is going to look kindly at this press conference where Governor Michelle Grisham (D.) openly talks about wanting to arrest licensed gun carriers and her view that her own oath of office is not absolute. This video is wild," commented Stephen Gutwoski, founder of The Reload.

Bernalillo County Sheriff John Allen said that he had concerns about the order but was prepared to cooperate to address gun violence.

"While I understand and appreciate the urgency, the temporary ban challenges the foundation of our Constitution, which I swore an oath to uphold," Allen said. "I am wary of placing my deputies in positions that could lead to civil liability conflicts, as well as the potential risks posed by prohibiting law-abiding citizens from their constitutional right to self-defense."

Violators could face civil penalties and a fine of up to $5,000, Grisham's Press Secretary Caroline Sweeney said.

Licensed security guards and law enforcement are exempt from the ban. It also does not apply on private property, "(such as at a gun range or gun store), provided they transport the firearm in a locked box, use a trigger lock, or some other mechanism that renders the gun incapable of being fired," the governor said.

Gov. Grisham's office did not immediately respond to a request for comment. This article will be updated if any response is received.

For more Culture, Media, Education, Opinion, and channel coverage, visit foxnews.com/media.

Fox News' Landon Mion and The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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