NM Attorney General Demands Sheriffs Enforce Unconstitutional Laws

Posted at 8:30 am on April 10, 2019 by Tom Knighton

AP Photo/John Locher, File

Tensions are heating up in New Mexico as most of the sheriffs in the state have said they’re not interested in enforcing pending anti-gun legislation. As law enforcement officers routinely have a bit of discretion in enforcing laws–ever had a police officer let you walk on a ticket?–it’s not particularly unusual. Also, since sheriffs are elected officials, they’re at least somewhat bound to the will of their constituents, so their defiance makes sense.
However, the attorney general demanded they carry out the will of the petty tyrants in the state legislature and not the will of the people who voted for them.
NEW MEXICO’S ATTORNEY general has warned sheriffs and police chiefs across the state that they must enforce new gun laws or risk legal liability.

New legislation, which will take effect this summer, requires background checks for all gun sales, even those between two individuals. Law enforcement leaders throughout the state opposed the measure as it was being debated in the legislature, and some said they would not enforce the law, according to The Albuquerque Journal.
Attorney General Hector Balderas’ warning comes after at least 26 New Mexico counties passed “Second Amendment sanctuary” resolutions in opposition to guns laws decided by state lawmakers this year, including the measure requiring background checks.

Counties in several states, including Colorado and Illinois, have passed similar resolutions recently in opposition to newly passed or potential gun restriction measures.

Balderas, a Democrat, wrote in a letter to the state’s law enforcement agencies that it was their duty to enforce the measures.

“As law enforcement officials, we do not have the freedom to pick and choose which state laws we enforce,” Balderas said, according to The Albuquerque Journal.
Balderas also said that a police chief or sheriff who refused to enforce the measure could be held liable if a gun sale leads to a prohibited person owning a gun and doing harm.

Prove it was sold in this county and not that county when there’s no paperwork.
Go on. I dare ya.
See, you can make the claim all you want, but you have to have some evidence that someone’s actions, or inactions, had an impact. Someone buys a gun, and you want to hammer the sheriff? You have to have at least some evidence that the gun was purchased in that county. Good luck with that.
But I find Balderas’ efforts hilarious. Where were his demands when cities were declaring they were sanctuary cities? Where was this idea of all laws needing to be enforced when communities declared they weren’t going to cooperate with ICE agents?
In other words, he’s picking and choosing the laws to be enforced, the very same thing he’s criticizing sheriffs for doing. They’re just opting not to enforce laws they believe are unconstitutional.
If Attorney General Balderas wants to be taken seriously, he needs to start cracking down on sanctuary cities as well as issuing warnings to sheriffs. I can take someone disagreeing with me on any issue, but what I hate is such blatant inconsistencies.
Somehow, I doubt he’ll be tripping over himself for that one.