(trendingpoliticsnews) – New Mexico’s Democrat Attorney General Raúl Torrez has publicly rebuked Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham’s recent gun control measures. In a detailed letter, Torrez informed the Governor that his office would not defend the administration against lawsuits challenging the Public Health Emergency Order Imposing Temporary Firearm Restrictions.
The Emergency Order, issued by the Secretary of Health on September 8 has been a topic of debate. It restricts the possession of firearms, limiting it to private property owned by the individual or with the express consent of the owner, licensed firing ranges, sport shooting venues, and a few other specific locations. Essentially, the order prevents individuals from carrying firearms in public for self-defense purposes.
Torrez’s letter highlights his concerns about the constitutionality of the order. He stated, “I do not believe that the Emergency Order will have any meaningful impact on public safety but, more importantly, I do not believe it passes constitutional muster.” He further emphasized a need for a more “thoughtful and deliberative process” with the New Mexico Legislature, rather than unilateral action that could infringe on the rights of law-abiding citizens.
Earlier this week, Governor Lujan Grisham issued a 30-day suspension on citizens’ right to carry in the state’s largest county following several shootings which claimed the lives of children, including an 11-year-old boy killed outside a minor league baseball stadium.
Torrez acknowledged the impact of gun violence in New Mexico, especially among children, however, he believes that the Emergency Order’s approach is misguided. Torrez suggests that the Governor’s move to classify gun violence as a “public health emergency” is a stretch and unlikely to withstand legal scrutiny.
The letter referenced several recent cases of gun violence, including the tragic deaths of 5-year-old Galilea Samaniego and 11-year-old Froylan Villegas. While heartbreaking, Torrez argued that the solution should not infringe on the rights of responsible gun owners, who he believes are not the problem.
Torrez urged the Governor to engage in a comprehensive legislative response to address gun violence, suggesting a multi-pronged approach. This includes better-trained police officers, stricter gun laws, robust mental health and drug treatment programs, real-time data on gun crimes, and more.
The state, which has traditionally leaned Democratic, is witnessing a clash between two prominent Democratic leaders over a deeply divisive issue.
The executive order, which covers all of Bernalillo County, prohibits open and concealed firearms on state property, public schools or public parks, with exceptions only for law enforcement and licensed security guards. Firearms would be permitted on private property.
Bernalillo County District Attorney Sam Bregman said on Saturday that he is also refusing to enforce the governor’s order which clearly violates citizens’ Second Amendment rights to defend themselves in public.
“As an officer of the court, I cannot and will not enforce something that is clearly unconstitutional. This office will continue to focus on criminals of any age that use guns in the commission of a crime,” he said.
Bernalillo County Sheriff John Allen added his voice to the coalition of law enforcement officials who are uneasy about enforcing the Democratic governor’s mandate, according to the Western Journal.
“I am wary of placing my deputies in positions that could lead to civil liability conflicts as well as the potential risks posed by prohibiting law-abiding citizens from their constitutional right to self-defense,” he said.
The first lawsuit has been filed against the measure by the National Association for Gun Rights and Foster Haines, a member who lives in Albuquerque.
Two lawmakers have already called for Governor Grisham’s impeachment, telling a local news station that her order will lead to “open season on law-abiding citizens by subverting the state and federal Constitutions.
“That needs to be remedied immediately,” said State Representative John Block (R – Alamogordo).
“We made an oath, which is a promise that we swear that we’re going to uphold the Constitution, the rights of New Mexicans, and she threw that right out the window,” added Rep. Stefani Lord (R – Sandia Park).