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The Governor of New Mexico Opens Gun Stores Following NRA Lawsuit

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After a lawsuit filed by the NRA, the Second Amendment Foundation, the New Mexico Shooting Sports Association, and Mountain States Legal Foundation, New Mexico Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham is letting gun stores and shooting ranges reopen.

AWR Hawkins of Breitbart News highlighted that the lawsuit was filed on April 10, 2020 in the United States District Court for the District of New Mexico. The suit came following Grisham’s Wuhan virus shutdown orders which did not categorize gun businesses and shooting ranges as essential.

The suit asserted, “New Mexico’s government cannot suspend the Constitution and Americans’ individual freedoms. The suspension and deprivation of natural and constitutionally protected rights and liberties by governmental fiat is unlawful.”

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The suit added: “This lawsuit challenges Defendants’ mandatory shuttering of lawful retail firearms businesses. By arbitrarily, capriciously—and unconstitutionally—targeting those who lawfully sell firearms and ammunition, New Mexico is depriving citizens of their natural and fundamental right to keep and bear arms.”

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On June 15, Grisham announced that gun stores and ranges would be allowed to reopen.

In response to Grisham’s announcement, NRA-ILA ligation counsel Michael Jean commented, “NRA members and law-abiding gun owners earned a victory today. Gun shops and ranges are open now, and our members in New Mexico can freely exercise their rights.”

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Will Josh Hawley be the Next Champion for an America First Foreign Policy?

America First May Have its Next Leader to End Wars Abroad

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Does America First have a new non-interventionist champion?

Missouri Senator Josh Hawley has been viewed by many as one of the figures who could potentially lead a Trumpist movement after Trump, should Joe Biden end up being installed as president on January 2021.

Hawley has made a name for himself as a champion of Middle America and questioning the neoliberal orthodoxy on immigration and trade. Lately, Hawley has made a pivot towards  questioning the interventionist conventional wisdom on foreign policy. 

In early October of this year, the Missouri Senator called for the American government to withdraw troops from Afghanistan. Hawley tweeted, “Almost 20 years now in Afghanistan. Long past time to draw this war to an end.”

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Hawley’s foreign policy has been a work progress over the past two years. During a 2019 speech Hawley gave at the Center for a New American Security (CNAS), he questioned the nation-building policy prescriptions of previous administrations, demonstrating some degree of skepticism towards non-stop interventionism abroad on the part of the Senator.

That said, it remains to be seen if Hawley’s legislative record will fully match his rhetoric.

Hawley is a staunch China hawk, who fears the rise of China and is a strong voice against China’s expansionist efforts. Hawley’s track record shows that his foreign policy views are rough around the edges. Daniel Larison of The American Conservative is not as optimistic about Hawley judging by his votes on the Yemeni Civil War. Larison cited several of Hawley’s votes that may be cause for concern:

Sen. Hawley voted against the Senate’s resolution of disapproval that opposed the president’s effort to circumvent Congress with a bogus “emergency” to expedite arms sales to Saudi Arabia and the UAE. More important, he voted with the president and most Senate Republicans against the antiwar Yemen resolution that would have cut off all U.S. support to the Saudi coalition.”

Nevertheless, Hawley’s comments on Afghanistan are a good sign that Hawley is catching on to the fact that Americans are tired of foreign wars. Politicians can change their views and behaviors. Hawley is likely recognizing that the America First movement is exhausted by the endless wars and wants candidates and elected officials who offer withdrawal plans. 

After looking at the list of people who have been tapped to join the Biden administration, Hawley tweeted, “What a group of corporatists and war enthusiasts – and #BigTech sellouts.”

Journalist Glenn Greenwald, a fierce interventionist skeptic, maintained cautious optimism about Hawley. In a tweet, he commented, “All kinds of reasons to be skeptical of the authenticity here, but — purely as a matter of rhetoric — just imagine any national Republican speaking this way about a Dem administration even 10 years ago. The framework of politics is radically shifting.”

The jury is still out on Hawley. Regardless of flaws in his voting record, America First advocates should continue to push him and other America First leaning Republicans in the right direction. We should never forget that politicians are still receptive to political pressure and the grassroots holds the keys to political change. 

Young senators like Hawley are the future of American politics and it makes sense for foreign policy restrainers to lobby them and push them in a direction that favors non-interventionism.

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