The New Mexico attorney general said in a statement that his office would not defend the public emergency order by the governor restricting gun rights in one county of the state.
New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham, a Democrat, announced on Friday that open and concealed carry laws in Albuquerque and the surrounding county were being restricted.
While gun rights activists lambasted the governor for the order, Attorney General Raúl Torrez told Grisham in a letter that her order would be found unconstitutional.
“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,” said Torrez in the letter.
“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,” he added.
He went on to criticize the governor for taking actions that would have little to no effect on gun violence but would absolutely violate citizens’ rights.
“I encourage you to engage in a more thoughtful and deliberative process with members of the New Mexico Legislature rather than taking unilateral action that infringes on the constitutional rights of law-abiding citizens while having little if any discernible impact on the underlying dynamics driving gun violence in our community,” he wrote.
Four lawsuits against the order have already been filed in federal court, and two others are in the works.
Grisham recognized on Friday that her order would likely face legal challenges, but she cited several incidents of gun violence against children that she said inspired the emergency policy.
“I’ve warned everyone that we expect a challenge, probably while you’re writing this, we’re getting a challenge, and that’s the way it should work,” said the Democrat. “But I have to take a tough, direct stand, or basically I’m just ignoring the fact that we lost an 11-year-old, another child.”
The public health order will be in force for 30 days, but Grisham said that she would consider extending it after seeing how well it works to stop gun violence.
Here’s more about the controversial order:
New Mexico lawmakers call for impeachment of Gov. Michelle Lujan Grishamwww.youtube.com
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