Monday, September 11, 2023

New Mexico Governor Grisham's Public Health Order Under Fire: Violates Constitution, Contradicts Bruen Decision and State Law

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Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham of New Mexico has issued a directive prohibiting the civilian carry of firearms, both open and concealed, under the guise of a public health emergency. Not only does this raise serious concerns about the infringement of Second Amendment rights, but it also appears to contradict the established laws of New Mexico itself.

Beginning with the term "Gun Violence" used in the Governor's directive, this has long been a buzzword among anti-gun advocates. However, a more accurate term would be 'Criminal Violence,' focusing on the unlawful actions of individuals rather than the tool used. This shift in terminology would center the discussion on criminal behavior, which is where it belongs.

However, it seems that many in the Democratic Party and the media are less concerned with addressing criminal behavior and more focused on limiting firearm ownership. This approach disproportionately impacts law-abiding citizens, many of whom own firearms for perfectly legal reasons, with self-defense being chief among them. Yet, these rational motives for gun ownership rarely make it into the public discourse due to an agenda-driven narrative that simplifies the complex issue of violence to mere 'Gun Violence.'

Governor Grisham's directive appears to be rooted in the misleading idea that guns are analogous to a viral outbreak that must be contained. This mindset is not new; academic articles dating back to the 1990s, like Don B. Kates et al.'s "Guns And Public Health: Epidemic Of Violence Or Pandemic Of Propaganda?", have criticized such a skewed view. This 'Public Health Agenda' looks to frame gun ownership as a health crisis, which it is not.

To make matters worse, the Governor's directive seems at odds with New Mexico's own legal framework. For instance, the state's laws on public health emergencies, defined in N.M. Stat. Ann. §§ 12-10A-1 to 12-10A-8 and 24-1-1 to 24-1-44, do not include any provisions that could reasonably categorize mere possession of firearms as a public health emergency. Even if we were to consider it, such a directive would still need to respect the civil liberties and rights of individuals, including the right to bear arms, as outlined in N.M. Stat. Ann. § 12-10A-2.

In short, Governor Grisham's directive seems to be a problematic mixture of legal incongruities, logical inconsistencies, and ideological motivations. We hope that this will be challenged in both federal and state courts, pointing out its inherent flaws and contradictions.

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