FIRST ON FOX: The National Rifle Association slammed Democratic New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham for "ignoring" the Constitution and temporarily suspending open and concealed carry across Albuquerque and the surrounding Bernalillo County under an emergency public health order.
"In a shocking move, Governor Lujan Grisham is suspending Second Amendment rights by administrative fiat, ignoring the U.S. Constitution and the New Mexico Constitution," NRA-ILA Executive Director Randy Kozuch told Fox News Digital.
The NRA leader said the Democratic governor should instead cut down crime by eliminating "soft-on-criminal policies." Police data show there have been 76 homicide victims in Albuquerque so far this year, down from the 93 victims recorded during the same time period last year.
"Instead of undermining the fundamental rights of law-abiding New Mexicans, she should address the soft-on-criminal policies which truly endanger its citizens," Kozuch said.
Lujan Grisham temporarily suspended open and concealed carry laws in Bernalillo County for at least 30 days, in an executive order announced Friday. The announcement was spurred by the fatal shootings of a 13-year-old girl in July, a five-year-old girl in August and an 11-year-old boy this month.
"As I said yesterday, the time for standard measures has passed," the governor said, according to her office’s press release on the order. "And when New Mexicans are afraid to be in crowds, to take their kids to school, to leave a baseball game – when their very right to exist is threatened by the prospect of violence at every turn – something is very wrong."
The governor held a press conference Friday where she made controversial remarks that no constitutional right is "absolute."
"No constitutional right, in my view, including my oath, is intended to be absolute," Lujan Grisham told a reporter who asked whether it’s "unconstitutional" to order Americans not to exercise their right to bear arms.
"There are restrictions on free speech. There are restrictions on my freedoms. In this emergency, this 11-year-old, and all these parents who have lost all these children, they deserve my attention to have the debate about whether or not, in an emergency, we can create a safer environment. Because what about their constitutional rights?" she said.
The reporter went on to ask the Democratic governor whether she believed criminals would follow her orders on the 30-day suspension.
"Uh, no," she responded, adding that the rule sends a "pretty resounding message" to the community to report crimes and aide law enforcement.
The governor's press secretary Caroline Sweeney told Fox News Digital on Sunday that the "order does not suspend the Constitution but instead state laws over which the governor has jurisdiction."
Sweeney added that the governor "was elected to serve the people of New Mexico, and not a day goes by that she doesn’t hear from a constituent asking for more to be done to curb this horrific violence."
Grisham has already been hit with a lawsuit filed by the gun rights group The National Association for Gun Rights and a resident for allegedly violating their Second Amendment rights.
"Gov. Luhan Grisham is throwing up a middle finger to the Constitution and the Supreme Court," said Dudley Brown, president of the National Association for Gun Rights.
The U.S. Concealed Carry Association for Saving Lives Action Fund, the USCCA's newly-annouced 501(c)(4) organization, also condemned the order "in the strongest possible terms."
"Not only does Governor Grisham lack the constitutional authority to implement such an unprecedented assault on the Second Amendment rights of New Mexico citizens, but it strikes at the very heart of what responsible gun owners have been saying for years – criminals do not follow the law, and this order only serves to punish law-abiding gun owners who protect their community," said Katie Pointer Baney, chairman of the board and executive director of the USCCA-FSL Action Fund.
The NRA highlighted on Twitter that the New Mexico Bill of Rights ensures the right to keep and bear arms for "security and defense, for lawful hunting and recreational use and for other lawful purposes."
In 2021, the governor signed a law allowing residents to sue for $2 million if their rights are violated under the state’s bill of rights.
"Under the New Mexico Civil Rights Act, signed into law by @GovMLG, a person whose rights under the Bill of Rights are violated may sue to recover for damages and obtain injunctive relief. Damages may be awarded up to $2 million per person whose rights were violated," the NRA tweeted.
"The NRA remains committed to defending the rights of every American and sounding the alarm on such dangerous and unconstitutional proposals that prevent the law-abiding from defending themselves and their families from violent criminals who have overtaken this state under her watch," Kozuch added in his exclusive comment to Fox News Digital.