September 13, 2023

State GOP plans to challenge guv’s gun ban

Republican Party of New Mexico Chairman Steve Pearce speaks at a press conference September 12, 2023.

Nicole Maxwell/New Mexico Political Report

Republican Party of New Mexico Chairman Steve Pearce speaks at a press conference September 12, 2023.

The Republican Party of New Mexico will join several other entities when it files a lawsuit against Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham over executive orders issued Sept. 8.

RPNM announced Tuesday that it plans to file a lawsuit against Lujan Grisham Wednesday.

“We’re here for maybe the most important issue of our lifetime,” RPNM Chairman Steve Pearce said. “The issue is one person above the law. I think that we’re here with a demonstration that no one is above the law.”

The order in question concerns a 30-day “cooling off period” in which firearms will not be permitted in Albuquerque and Bernalillo County.

Albuquerque has seen a rash of gun violence that took the lives of two children in recent weeks.

As a response to the gun deaths of the two children, Lujan Grisham ordered that, among other things, that guns would not be permitted in public in Bernalillo County unless carried by law enforcement or licensed security guards.

The issue is not just the alleged Second Amendment violation, it is also about limiting executive power, Republicans say.

“Now, our lawyer has said there’ll be many people going after the shiny object that is the Second Amendment. He said that’s gonna get overturned immediately. But he said the bigger problem is her mandate that she claims gives her the right to violate the constitution,” Pearce said.

The RPNM lawsuit would be in addition to lawsuits filed by New Mexico House and Senate Republicans and others.

In the wake of Friday’s orders, four lawsuits have been filed in federal court with more suits possibly being filed in either state or federal courts.

Related: Bernalillo County Sheriff ‘irritated’ by 30-day gun ban, will not enforce it 

Aside from the lawsuits, two state representatives, Stefani Lord, R-Sandia Park and John Block, R-Alamogordo, have drafted articles of impeachment against Lujan Grisham.

Pearce and other speakers at the press conference supported the articles of impeachment.

Bernalillo County Sheriff John Allen said Monday that his office would not enforce the order to which Lujan Grisham responded that she would not back down on the matter.New Mexico Attorney General Raúl Torrez sent a letter Tuesday to Lujan Grisham stating that his office would not defend Lujan Grisham or her administration in the lawsuits already filed challenging the temporary gun ban.