Arizona -(Ammoland.com)- Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham of New Mexico claims that background checks are Constitutional. In the Heller decision, Justice Scalia wrote that regulation of commercial sales was deemed Constitutional. The regulation of private sales has not been reviewed by the Supreme Court, to my knowledge. The Supreme Court has ruled the federal government cannot force the states to conduct background checks, at least, not without paying for them. It seems unlikely a state could require the federal government to perform background checks for that were not required under federal law.
Governor Grisham seems to have a problem with numbers:
New Mexico has 33 counties. About two-thirds of the counties in the state have passed Second Amendment sanctuary resolutions.
Ruidoso News has published there were 21 counties of the 33 in the state that had passed Second Amendment sanctuary resolutions as of 26. From ruidosonews.com as of 26 February 2019:
NM Second Amendment Sanctuary Counties
- Valencia County
- Sandoval County
- Eddy County
- Chaves County
- Otero County
- Lincoln County
- Quay County
- Union County
- Socorro County
- San Juan County
- Catron County
- Curry County
- Hidalgo County
- Sierra County
- Grant County
- Torrance County
- Rio Arriba County
- De Baca County
- Roosevelt County
- Harding County
- Luna County
About two-thirds of the counties in the state qualify as more than a “few” in my dictionary.
As shown in the map at the top, the New Mexico Shooting Sports Association counts 23 counties as having passed Second Amendment sanctuary resolutions.
Update: On 28 February, Lea County voted unanimously to become a Second Amendment sanctuary county. Cibola County has been reported as passing a Second Amendment sanctuary resolution.
On 22 February 2019, Sheriff Tony Mace of the New Mexico Sheriff’s Association said 29 county sheriffs were in favor of passing Second Amendment sanctuary city resolutions. Only three counties were against the resolutions. They were: Bernalillo County, Dona Ana County, and Santa Fe County. All three are where the urban population centers are located. From koat.com:
Cibola County Sheriff Tony Mace is on the board of the New Mexico Sheriffs’ Association. He, along with 28 other sheriffs, are trying to pass or have passed resolutions to not require their deputies to enforce the gun bills that are before state lawmakers.
“We have 29 sheriffs stand up and speak in (the) Legislature, saying we don’t support these bills. It’s not what we want. They don’t help us in our day-to-day jobs,” Mace said.
Mace said many of the proposals are unenforceable, unconstitutional and do not help protect the people in his community.
Benalillo County has Albuquerque, Dona Ana County has Las Cruces, and Santo Fe County has Santa Fe. One county had not been contacted, Los Alamos Count. It is the smallest county in the state.
This may create problems for the Democrats in New Mexico. Some of the counties on the sanctuary list are strongly registered, Democrat. From abqjournal.com:
Rio Arriba County is largely rural like other counties on the “sanctuary” list, but stands out because of its strong blue tint politically — 75 percent of Rio Arriba registered voters are Democrats.
The Rio Arriba resolution says the commission affirms its support for “decisions by our sheriff to not enforce any unconstitutional firearms law against any citizen” and that no county resources should be used to enforce any law “that unconstitutionally infringes on the right of the people to keep and bear arms.”
Here is a link to the resolution passed in San Juan County, New Mexico, on 19 February 2019. Here is the last paragraph of the San Juan County resolution:
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that this Board will not authorize or appropriate government funds, resources, employees, agencies, contractors, buildings, detention centers or offices for the purpose of enforcing a law that unconstitutionally infringes on the right of the people to keep and bear arms.
Voting maps of the United States show a clear rural/urban split. Urban areas tend to vote Democrat. Rural areas tend to vote Republican. There are exceptions, of course, and rural Democrats add significant amounts to the Democrat vote totals.
It remains to be seen if the discontent with Democrat New Mexico gun control activism will translate into the loss of Democrat seats in the legislature.
About Dean Weingarten:
Dean Weingarten has been a peace officer, a military officer, was on the University of Wisconsin Pistol Team for four years, and was first certified to teach firearms safety in 1973. He taught the Arizona concealed carry course for fifteen years until the goal of constitutional carry was attained. He has degrees in meteorology and mining engineering, and recently retired from the Department of Defense after a 30 year career in Army Research, Development, Testing, and Evaluation.