Michelle Lujan Grisham
New Mexico Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)
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New Mexico’s Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham kicked the hornet’s nest when she published her emergency public health order that attempts to neuter the Second Amendment and force standardless firearm retailer “inspections.” The order is Constitutionally baseless and there are no laws or regulations giving the state’s Regulation and Licensing Department authority to inspect federally licensed firearm retailers. That’s not all the order is attempting to do, however.

Gov. Grisham’s order, which is facing mounting legal challenges, also seeks to name-and-shame firearm manufacturers for the crimes committed by those who have no respect for the law. The governor admitted that criminals won’t abide by her unconstitutional order. Yet, she’s attempting to use the state’s authority to build a list of firearms recovered at crime scenes to create a false narrative that the lawful firearm industry is somehow to blame for the crime.

The order contains a provision that requires the state’s Health Department to compile a report of gunshot victims including demographic data as well as the “brand and caliber” of the firearm used but nothing on how the firearm was obtained before being illegally and criminally misused. That would be like saying Ford is responsible for drunk driving accidents because drunks illegally drove Ford vehicles while intoxicated. Or, that Toyota is responsible for car thefts because a lot of stolen cars are Toyotas. It’s because there are a lot of Toyotas on the road, just like there are a lot of Ford cars on the road.

Will anyone be surprised when Gov. Grisham’s list includes well-known firearm brands in popular calibers? It will be a lot of sound and fury signifying nothing, but the media will report it as if it means something.

This is part of gun control’s “name-and-shame” publicity stunt to somehow assign the blame for crimes to firearm manufacturers and not the criminals that prey on innocent victims. It’s a ruse. It’s shameful but Gov. Grisham proved to the nation that she has no shame when it comes to pushing her antigun agenda.

Tiahrt Abuse

“Name-and-shame” is a scheme by which gun control politicians and their fawning supporters attempt to blame firearm manufacturers and retailers for the crimes committed by others that have no relationship to the businesses. That’s because criminals aren’t buying guns legally to commit illegal acts.

Every firearm sold by a retailer must be accompanied by a Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) Form 4473, attesting that the individual purchasing or receiving the firearm is not a prohibited individual and is the intended recipient. That’s followed by a verification from the FBI’s National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS), except in states that run their own background checks through the state police. This isn’t how criminals obtain firearms. They get their hands on them through theft or the black market.

In fact, studies by the Department of Justice’s (DOJ) Bureau of Justice Statistics show that criminals convicted of crimes involving a firearm admitted over 90 percent of the time that the firearm they criminally misused was obtained illegally.

That doesn’t satisfy gun control groups and antigun politicians like Gov. Grisham. Instead these groups and elected officials attempt to skirt the Tiahrt Amendment that prevents the release of trace data that is used by law enforcement in potential criminal investigations.

When a firearm is recovered at a crime scene or criminal arrest, a police department may forward information to the ATF to track the chain of custody of a firearm through the licensed distribution system to the original retail purchaser. The ATF then sends back the information to the requesting agency so they can use the information in a criminal case, if warranted.

Public release of gun trace data outside law enforcement would jeopardize ongoing criminal investigations, putting the lives of law enforcement, witnesses, retailers and others at risk. That is why Congress, the ATF and law enforcement, including the nation’s largest police organization, the Fraternal Order of Police, agree on the importance of securing this sensitive data. Access to gun trace data should only be available to law enforcement taking part in a bona-fide investigation, and law enforcement already has the access it needs for this purpose. No law enforcement agency has ever been denied access to trace data as part of a criminal investigation.

Yet, gun control advocates want to abuse the data for political means. Then-New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg did just that and put the lives of ATF special agents and other law enforcement at risk. He sent investigators out of state, without coordination with ATF or even his own police commissioner, to conduct sting operations. His folly forced ATF to pull agents out of the field for their own safety and interfered with as many as 18 ongoing criminal investigations.

Gun control groups try to use these data to argue a trace is a signal that a law-abiding firearm retailer did something wrong if a firearm they legally sold after a background check ended up being traced for any reason. That is simply not the case. As the ATF has repeatedly stated, “The appearance of [a licensed dealer] or a first unlicensed purchaser of record in association with a crime gun or in association with multiple crime guns in no way suggests that either the federal firearms licensed dealer (FFL) or the first purchaser has committed criminal acts. Rather, such information may provide a starting point for further and more detailed investigation,” (Crime Gun Trace Analysis Reports, ATF, 1998).

Gun Control Bandwagon

Gov. Grisham’s not alone on this data-driven slight-of-hand. President Joe Biden’s “zero-tolerance” policy being carried by the ATF has a “name-and-shame” component. The White House published an Executive Order earlier this year that aims to “publicly release, to the fullest extent permissible by law, inspection reports of [federal firearms licensee] dealers cited for violations of the law.” Except, that “zero-tolerance” policy is revoking licenses for minor clerical errors. Those are not willful violations of the law. NSSF has heard from firearm retailers that ATF has reopened closed cases and subsequently moved to revoke licenses for minor administrative and clerical errors that were resolved, even after the ATF agreed they were fixed.

The administration, and Gov. Grisham, didn’t come up with this “name-and-shame” concept on their own. New Jersey’s Gov. Phil Murphy openly embraced the idea in 2019. The New York Times seized on a report from the gun control group Brady United to attempt to “name-and-shame” Philadelphia-area firearm retailers for the crime spike in that city. The “Old Gray Lady,” though, made no mention of the soft-on-crime policies of District Attorney Larry Krasner, Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney or Pennsylvania Gov. Josh Shapiro.

Gun control groups have been pushing for law enforcement trace data to be weaponized against the firearm industry. Bloomberg’s gun control group – and their media megaphone The Trace – sent out a “name-and-shame” email, listing 13 specific firearm personalities with large social media followings asking if they ever reevaluated or reconsidered their relationships based on what they called “political content.”

That is corporate intimidation. It’s vilifying innocent parties by smearing them with the same accusations used against those who actually committed criminal acts. That’s exactly what Gov. Grisham and the rest of the gun control politicians crowding the bandwagon are attempting to do.

 

Larry Keane is SVP for Government and Public Affairs, Assistant Secretary and General Counsel of the National Shooting Sports Foundation.

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39 COMMENTS

  1. She’s a test case folks! Her and her state were chosen to see just far they could push their ultimate agenda! They’ll throw her under the bus and try again somewhere else.

    • Suing manufacturers has extended to Kia and Hyundai in Chirac where the so-called mayor has instituted legal action against those two car manufacturers for failing to make their cars more theft-proof. Following that aliceinwonderland legal theory, liquor manufacturers should be liable for drunk drivers and drug manufacturers liable for drug dealers selling their products. Everybody liable for the criminal acts of criminals except the criminals themselves.
      We are truly deep in the rabbit hole.

      • That’s a weak analogy and it’s not the legal basis for lawsuits against Hyundai/Kia.

        Do you believe that the class-action suits that will be filed by affected owners are meritless? The owners, many who have suffered actual monetary losses, aren’t blaming the thieves either.

  2. Democrats and shame… (pause for laughter.)

    These ingrates have none themselves but suddenly find moralism under a rock when it’s convenient. Then they try to bash your head open with the rock.

    • Jordan Peterson talks about leftists, conservatives, and shaming. He makes the point that leftists cannot be shamed, since they don’t feel it and they would sell their souls and their mothers’ souls in order to get what they want. Conservatives generally can feel shame, and can be open enough to self examination and think perhaps they could do things better whether it’s true or not. Leftists take advantage of this at every opportunity.

      That’s why you’ll never see the likes of miner, dacian, jsled, albert, and other marxist manifestations, ever admit they are wrong even about the smallest thing, or that there can ever be another possibly valid viewpoint. Their psychopathy just can’t allow it.

      • Peterson is 100% correct. Long ago when I was young and stupid, I was on the left. Then one day I started to question what I believed. It took several years of reading and introspection and thinking seriously about things I’d never thought seriously about before. I realized you cannot be on the left and question anything, because the left is a scam. They use fear and force because they cannot persuade anyone otherwise except honest to God halfwits. Any clown on the left who says otherwise has either not bothered to seriously examine anything or is lying. I know this for a fact because I’ve been there.

      • L3ftists don’t feel shame. They can murder by the thousands for their cause and think it is only a start. Any abuse received by their victims is considered their own fault.

        But they want others to feel shame and atone either by converting or getting “canceled”, preferably into a ditch with other victims.

  3. “…or saying that Toyota is responsible for car thefts because a lot of stolen cars are Toyotas…”

    Isn’t that exactly what the City of Chicago is attempting to do against Hyundai and Kia?

    • Hyundai and Kia both left anti theft technology off of a few models that all the other car makers have on every model.

      so those few models are now getting stolen and causing the problem

      • (sigh)

        To echo what I said earlier when that news story came out, it appears a lot of people here are ignoring the fact that criminals commit the crimes and are responsible for them, not anyone else.

        To blame Hyundai/Kia for thefts is like blaming a girl for getting her purse stolen because she didn’t hold it as securely as most other women do, instead of blaming the thief who actually took her purse.

        • You feel the same about class-actions against the manufacturer by the consumers who suffered monetary losses? Or should they be suing the criminals who broke into and/or stole their cars?

  4. Hmm – ‘perhaps’ dat governor can ‘solve’ the burglary problem in her state (she apparently thinks she owns it after all) by ordering her serfs to simply leave their homes unlocked, especially when they are not at home. The same ‘logic’ can be applied to car thefts – leave the car unlocked and the keys in the ignition. Presto! no more burglaries or car thefts. The cost to the ‘owners’ would simply be written off as part of doing business to have an orderly society, or something.

  5. The health department isn’t going to have an easy job of it, doctors can’t recognize or care about what “caliber” a wound is and likely don’t don’t do much medical notation on any intact slugs they recover. They certainly don’t know the brand that fired it. And, often, neither do police- but if they do, it’s after an investigation that is separate from anything the health department would typically deal with.

    • I think the victim or patient is not going to really care what they were shot with. They will have more important things to worry about.

  6. One wonder why Grisham hasn’t been sued under 18 U.S. Code § 242 – Deprivation of rights under color of law.

    Until politicians who misuse their office are legally sanctioned they have no incentive to abide by the law.

    • that code has long been interpreted to have massive immunities for lawmakers and, possibly to a lesser extent (it hasn’t been fully tested I think), for state executives.

      SCOTUS basically ignored the plain text of the law in favor of common law principles. Similar to the qualified immunity of police except much stronger.

  7. In other words, she got the text of her EO from Bloomberg’s traitors and published it verbatim.

  8. Looks like she is trying to do what Illinois has with the Firearm Dealer License Certification (FDLC), 430 ILCS 68 was signed into law on January 18, 2019, requiring all Illinois Federal Firearm Dealers operating within Illinois to be certified by the Illinois State Police. This has put a lot of home based FFLs out of business in Illinois with the strict requirements for the FDLC.

  9. Hopefully the NM governor will seek help before she goes off the deep end and sends Gun Owners to concentration camps…payback’s a batch.

      • I don’t see anything “brutal” about the executions. They got more justice than the folks they tortured and murdered. They weren’t tortured. We didn’t do inhuman “medical” experiments on them. They got a trial. Were permitted to present defense evidence. Were found guilty. Sentenced and the sentences were carried out. Can’t do the time; don’t do the crime.

        • The general historical argument isn’t about the trials or the sentences, it’s about the method of hanging used in this case because more “humane” methods were commonly known.

          The Brits published calculated “drop tables” in the late 1800’s and then revised those tables thanks to experience. These were available to all the Allies. The Eastern Europeans tended to use a “pole” method and others used suspension hanging the way Iran does today.

          All of which kill or render the person unconscious much faster than the short drop method which was considered rather barbaric by the time you get to 1910.

          If you go back and watch the US executions of German leadership by hanging you can see that the person drops, the rope vibrates a bit but is easily made still by the hangman using two fingers. The person hanged doesn’t struggle at all, it’s just lights out when they run out of rope. Pole and suspension methods knock people out almost immediately as well.

          Short drop methods, by contrast, often fail to produce rapid results and this instance isn’t an exception. There’s a reason it’s quite easy to find video of US, Polish and British executions of Germans after the war and a video of this particular incident is very hard to find. (Video of this execution does exist, however.)

          Turns out, most people find that watching “the jig of death” isn’t a pleasant experience and believe it to be excessively brutal since better methods are well known.

          Further, short drops don’t always actually work. People have survived them and then had the legal system say they can’t be hanged again.

          In some cases it’s hard not to accept the argument that a short drop qualifies as “cruel” and that people knowingly using it intend it to be so. There was a guy hanged in the old West, I forget his name, but he was killed by short drop hanging. It took over an hour and by the end of it he’d thrashed around on the rope so much that both of his ears had been removed via simple friction.

          That’s considered a feature rather than a bug by some. In this case, the people conducting the executions certainly were out for a form of vengeance rather than simply following the legal prescription of a court.

          How any particular individual feels about this is up to them but, generally, people find the short drop repulsive and tend to use words like “brutal”, “horrific” or similar terms to describe it.

  10. Maybe the doctors can get the brand of silverware used by the obese patients that they see on a daily basis, the information will be just as useful for finding out what is causing their fat asses.

  11. We’ve already seen dipshit politicians blame car companies for car thefts.

    We should not be be surprised. I certainly not surprised by anything a leftist turd does.

  12. Yeah, let’s collect more data. I think we have enough data to show quite clearly that the deadliest cities in the country are run by democrats. So, let’s do something about them…isn’t that the idea she’s putting forth?

  13. “That would be like saying Ford is responsible for drunk driving accidents because drunks illegally drove Ford vehicles while intoxicated.”

    This would be ironic and not necessarily something this lady would avoid. New Mexico is colloquially known as “The Land of the Drunk Driver”, a reference to the license plate slogan that refers to the state as a “Land of Enchantment”.

    That said, yeah, it’s larger play. It’s pretty clear that the Governor is playing a game to wrangle a promotion when she’s done being Governor. She knows that her actions are unlikely to survive a court challenge and that’s part of the plan.

    She’s termed out, she very, very likely won’t be removed either. This polishes her anti gun bona fides and provides yet more “ammo” to the Left arguing that the “courts are out of control” on the topic of guns.

    A few years from now she can be the governor who was “tough on gun violence” but couldn’t do the “right thing” because of the “right wing courts”. That’s an argument the Left has made for a long time and it energizes their base surprisingly well, actually.

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