Updated: May 08, 2020 10:16 PM
Created: May 08, 2020 09:41 PM
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M.- A Hobby Lobby in Roswell is defying an order from the governor.
It's considered a non-essential business, and should not be allowing customers inside.
But it opened to customers this week.
Chaves County Sheriff Mike Herrington doesn't have a problem with Hobby Lobby being open.
"They're equivalent to Walmart, Home Depot, Big Lots, all the other places, Big Lots, Target, that are already open," he said. "And instead of having all these people have to go to Walmart, or all these people have to go to these other locations, you kind of have to spread 'em out."
Harrington said the Hobby Lobby in Roswell has a capacity for 900 people, but they are only allowing 75 people inside at one time. He said there are markings to promote social distancing.
In the sheriff's view, Hobby Lobby is an essential business.
"Right now, we have kids that are out of school but still required to do schoolwork-- homeschooling basically," he said. "Well, hobby lobby offers a whole section on nothing but projects and things these kids need to do for the homeschooling side of things as well as other things for people to do while they're sitting at home locked down."
However, the governor maintains that Hobby Lobby is not an essential business.
The governor's office said "Public health orders carry the force of law, and are not up for interpretation by county sheriffs."
"That's just crazy to me. I could understand if it was something seriously putting people at risk, but here in Chaves County, that is not the case - unlike Gallup or even in the northern part of the state," Sherifff Herrington said. "We are in a completely different area that is being affected differently by this coronavirus"
KOB 4 could not find another Hobby Lobby in New Mexico that was open.
Copyright 2020 - KOB-TV LLC, A Hubbard Broadcasting Company