On Saturday, Louie Sanchez, the owner of Albuquerque gun store Calibers and former Republican U.S. Senate candidate appeared on Fox News’ “Fox & Friends” to discuss his decision to remain open despite Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham’s cease and desist order calling his business “non-essential.” He said his business with continue to stay open regardless of the Governor’s order.
But Sanchez contends that “under Michelle Lujan Grisham’s… order, we actually are considered essential.” He explained that “in Section F, as we tried to explain to them, that you are considered essential if Law Enforcement and MIlitary uses your facilities. And as of up to two days ago, we actually had law enforcement from ATF, FBI, Albuquerque Police, State Police, Sheriffs, etc. using our facility. And then Thursday night at 5:00, we got a visit from our friends at the State Police with a cease and desist order, telling us that we are considered ‘non-essential.’”
When asked about social distancing and remaining open, Sanchez said, “Not only is it a right as for every American to bear arms as in our Constitution, but it’s a right for every small business also. We have small businesses that are getting destroyed in this sate,… but we have big box stores that have never closed. And my wife and I have lived in this city for our whole lives, and we were going to the big box stores and there was no social distancing going on. Small businesses in New Mexico, we can control exactly how many people come into our store.”
On Friday, Sanchez posted the news of the Governor shutting him down from his Facebook page, writing, “It’s amazing how the Governor is picking ‘winners and losers’ as small businesses are closed all over the state and thousands of people are now unemployed. Small businesses new and old which will never recover or reopen [their] doors again.”
“But she is allowing big box stores to stay open even though they’re selling the same products or services. Small businesses are the economic backbone of this state employing thousands of hard-working New Mexicans. We appreciate all of our customers and the thousands the calls, emails and social media support that we have received. God Bless everyone during this time.”
In recent weeks, the governor has come under intense scrutiny for sending small businesses that provide essential goods and services cease and desist orders. On the eve of Easter, Lujan Grisham announced a ban on church gatherings, triggering local churches to defy her orders. The Las Cruces Bishop announced he will resume church services in this diocese, a first of any Catholic prelate in the nation. Legacy Church filed a lawsuit against the Administration, however, on Friday, their temporary restraining order to halt Lujan Grisham’s mandate was denied by an Albuquerque Judge.