New Mexico Attorney General Raúl Torrez sent a letter to Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham informing her that his office would not be defending the Governor’s order suspending open and concealed carrying of firearms in Albuquerque and the surrounding area. The AG said the order “does not pass constitutional muster” and does nothing for public safety.
“Though I recognize my statutory obligation as New Mexico’s chief legal officer to defend state officials when they are sued in their official capacity, my duty to uphold and defend the constitutional rights of every citizen takes precedence,” Torrez’s letter stated. “Simply put, 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.”
At least six lawsuits were filed against the New Mexico Governor over her order, including cases from every major Second Amendment organization or their proxies. The first challenge hit Saturday before the ink was dry. Gun Owners of America (GOA) was the first organization to get a hearing for a temporary restraining order (TRO). That hearing was scheduled for 11 A.M. today before Federal District Judge David H. Urias vacated the hearing date. Although Judge Urias didn’t give a reason for the cancelation, many believe that the judge is planning on combining all the cases to be heard at once.
Almost all legal scholars believe that the Governor’s order is blatantly unconstitutional, leading many on the anti-gun side of the debate to abandon the Governor. The Albuquerque Police Chief, Harold Medina, stated that his department will not enforce the rule against citizens carrying firearms. The Sheriff of Bernalillo County, John Allen, said he cannot enforce the order and fulfill his oath to the United States and New Mexico Constitutions.
New Mexico also eliminated qualified immunity. Qualified immunity prevents public servants from being sued for actions taken in their official duties. Since these protections do not exist in New Mexico, the officials enforcing the rule can be held personally liable if the order is found to be unconstitutional. Since nearly all legal minds believe that the order violates the Bruen decision, which makes local law enforcement very apprehensive about enforcing the order.
It is not just law enforcement and the AG’s Office that have abandoned Governor Lujan Grisham’s plan.
Democratic New Mexico State Representatives and Senators have also been critical of the Governor’s move. Sen. Joe Cervantes called on the Governor to rescind the public health order. His statement reads:
“Having passed key gun safety laws working with her administration, I call on the Governor to rescind her order outlawing arms. An unconstitutional approach undermines the important collaboration gun issues deserve, and the important role of a Governor to lead genuine reforms.”
While Democrats in the New Mexico Legislature turn on the Governor, Republican Rep. Stefani Lord and John Block are moving to impeach Lujan Grisham for violating her oath to the Constitution. The movement is gaining steam.
“I was completely shocked. I mean, this is no way to address a crime issue,” Lord said. “She took an oath to uphold that Constitution. She needs to understand that those rights are absolute. And that’s why we are impeaching her, because she has committed a crime in what she is doing.”
The criticism extends past just New Mexico. Even anti-gun zealots like David Hogg and Ted Lieu think the Governor has gone too far. Both point out that the Governor cannot suspend Constitutionally protected rights. Even CNN, a long ally of the Governor, questioned her authority to overrule the Constitution.
The writing is on the wall with the latest action of the George Soros-funded AG Torrez. It is only a matter of time before the Governor’s health order is cast upon the heap of Government overreach and ruled unconstitutional.
The Governor’s office did not respond to AmmoLand’s request for comment.
About John Crump
John is an NRA instructor and a constitutional activist. John has written about firearms, interviewed people from all walks of life, and on the Constitution. John lives in Northern Virginia with his wife and sons and can be followed on Twitter at @crumpyss, or at www.crumpy.com.