New Mexico Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham came under fire on CNN Tuesday when anchor Poppy Harlow grilled her over a recent emergency declaration that temporarily banned open and concealed carry of firearms within Albuquerque and Bernalillo County.
The governor defended her controversial decision to invoke a public health emergency, claiming that the move was necessary to protect children and reduce gun violence in the region. Lujan Grisham argued that the ban was within the scope of her legal authority, citing existing state laws that grant governors the power to take quick action in emergency situations.
Despite the governor’s claims, however, Harlow asked pointed questions about the legality and efficacy of the order, as well as raised hypothetical questions about whether the same logic could be applied to alcohol and drug use.
Lujan Grisham struggled to answer the questions, which led to a heated back and forth between the two. At one point, Lujan Grisham attempted to shift the blame to the state legislature, claiming they were not doing enough to enact gun control measures. Harlow quickly shut down the argument, pointing out that the governor was in charge of enacting laws within the state, not the legislature.
The interview is just one example of the fierce backlash Lujan Grisham has faced since signing the emergency declaration in response to several acts of deadly gun violence in the state. The move has been criticized not only by Republicans but by law enforcement across the country as well, with at least one gun rights group filing a lawsuit, and more likely to follow in the coming weeks.
Despite the governor’s legal arguments defending her order, it is unlikely that it will survive legal scrutiny in a court of law. Furthermore, her inability to answer Harlow’s questions does not bode well for her image or her ability to provide real solutions to gun violence. With Lujan Grisham unable to run for reelection due to term limits, New Mexico residents can take some solace in that fact, while continuing to push back against her anti-gun policies in the meantime.
“We also have, Governor, the Constitution … and you’re an attorney. Do you think you’re on solid constitutional ground?”
New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham: “I have the right”
“But where is the right?”
Lujan Grisham: “We’ll see what all of these court actions do” pic.twitter.com/Rb3MeBZcVH
— RNC Research (@RNCResearch) September 12, 2023