CNN Anchor Grills New Mexico’s Governor Over Legality Of 30-Day Gun Ban: ‘Where Is The Right?’


CNN This Morning anchor Poppy Harlow took New Mexico Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham (D) to task on Tuesday over her recent 30-day order curbing the right to carry open or concealed firearms in public in and around Albuquerque, a city plagued by persistent gun violence.

Harlow grilled Grisham on the legality of the move, which has sparked a bipartisan backlash across the country. Harlow began by asking Grisham if law enforcement in Albuquerque is enforcing her order in any way, noting many local officials have publicly declared they refuse to do so.

“My question to law enforcement, is where are you? Where are you? And that young 11-year-old, Froylan Villegas, 17 rounds were fired into that gun. 35,000 rounds are fired at least annually in Albuquerque alone. You are not safe going to work, getting your prescription drugs, or going to a public park. And it wasn’t just about a cooling off period, it’s about making sure that everyone is safer while we do bolder work to get at both the drug epidemic and the gun violence epidemic,” Grisham insisted.

As Harlow tried to interject the governor added, “And it’s not for police to tell me what’s constitutional or not. They haven’t supported one, not one, gun violence effort in the State of New Mexico.”

As the conversation continued, Harlow pressed on the point, “But we also have, Governor, the Constitution of New Mexico and the Constitution of the United States. And you’re an attorney. Do you think you’re on solid constitutional ground here?”

“Well, we’re going to see. I mean, look, I wouldn’t do it if I didn’t think I had the right. I have the right,” Grisham shot back.

“But where is the right? Where is the right?” Harlow insisted.

“In the State of New Mexico, public — it’s a suspension. It’s not a ban. And we’ll see what all of these court actions do,” replied the governor.

Harlow then noted the U.S. Supreme Court has recently taken a turn against gun restrictions and “totally changed what we’re allowed to do.”

“And they say, unless you can base it in the history and tradition, you don’t have grounds to do something like this. The New Mexico constitution, I looked last night, Article 2, Section 6, says this, ‘No law shall abridge the right of citizens to keep and bear arms for security and defense. No municipality or county shall regulate in any way any incident the right to keep and bear arms,’” Harlow continued.

“Are you not in violation of both the U.S. Constitution and your state’s constitution?” Harlow asked.

“I don’t believe that we are. And if that narrow reading of the constitution, which has been tested in the state, we wouldn’t have universal background checks, we wouldn’t have a waiting period, we wouldn’t have a red flag law, we wouldn’t have prohibitions for straw purchases. None of those would have been deemed constitutional. And today all of them are,” Grisham argued.

Harlow responded by noting all those examples were decided on previously by a different court.

Watch the full clip above via CNN.

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Alex Griffing is a Senior Editor at Mediaite. Send tips via email: Follow him on Twitter: @alexgriffing