Republican presidential candidate Chris Christie blasted New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham (D) over her suspension of the right to carry firearms in Albuquerque last week, citing a public health emergency.
Christie, also the former governor of New Jersey, said Grisham should be “reprimanded” for the attempt to limit gun rights.
“She’s not going to succeed here,” he said Tuesday in an interview on Fox News. This is so clearly and blatantly unconstitutional I think it will be knocked down,”
The emergency declaration has garnered bipartisan criticism from those who believe it violates the Second Amendment. Specifically, the law prevents people from carrying firearms in parts of the state where violent crime is over a certain threshold — one only surpassed by the city of Albuquerque.
Local law enforcement, including the Albuquerque Police Department and the county’s sheriff, who is a Democrat, have pledged not to enforce the measure.
Christie said the move is a political one to shift focus from other issues in the state, including immigration.
“This is nothing but a public relations ploy by a governor who is having trouble in her own state and understands how politically unpopular her border policies are,” he said. “[Understands] how politically unpopular the violent crime in New Mexico and across the country is, and she’s attempting to cater to the grandstand. It’s not going to work.”
Other Republican presidential candidates also denounced the measure, including Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, who said it is “asserting the power to infringe on Second Amendment rights by executive fiat.”
Entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy also criticized Grisham and noted that she should focus instead on border security.
“Friendly suggestion to Lujan Grisham on how to *actually* reduce violent crime in your state: focus on sealing your own state’s southern border & stop the virtue signaling elsewhere,” Ramaswamy said in a post on X, formerly Twitter.
Democratic Rep. Ted Lieu (Calif.), an advocate for gun control reform, also came out against the measure.
“I support gun safety laws. However, this order from the Governor of New Mexico violates the U.S. Constitution,” Lieu said. “No state in the union can suspend the federal Constitution.”
“There is no such thing as a state public health emergency exception to the U.S. Constitution,” he added.
Copyright 2023 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.