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

State GOP, legislators file suit against MLG over executive orders

Opponents of the governor’s actions to address gun violence are targeting her executive orders. The Republican Party of New Mexico, all Republican members of both the New Mexico House and Senate, the Libertarian Party of New Mexico and others filed legal action against Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham on Sept. 14. The plaintiffs are asking for the executive orders issued Sept 8 to be withdrawn in a case filed in New Mexico Supreme Court on Sept. 14.

Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham flanked by legislative Democratic leaders and public safety experts delivers an update to a public health order concerning firearms.

Guv takes blocked gun ban out of public health order, will not call special session

Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham discussed amendments to a controversial public health order that had sought to temporarily prohibit carrying of firearms in public locations in Bernalillo County during a press conference on Friday. She said that she would not call a special session to address gun violence as some have called for. The most consequential amendment removed the temporary ban on carrying firearms. The change came after Federal District Court Judge David H. Urias issued a temporary restraining order Wednesday halting the firearm ban. 

The governor also amended the order to include the Roundhouse, public parks and playgrounds as areas that are gun-free zones. The federal court hearing involved five cases against Lujan Grisham and other state officials, and argued the firearm ban was unconstitutional. Between the lawsuits, public outcry and some of Lujan Grisham’s fellow Democrats refusing to enforce the order or refusing to represent the governor in the heap of lawsuits about it, Lujan Grisham decided to amend the order.

ABQ mayor calls for special legislative session for gun violence issues

Albuquerque Mayor Tim Keller called for the governor to call a special legislative session to discuss solutions to the gun violence issues plaguing New Mexico’s largest city. “Albuquerque families can’t afford political debates that distract us from fighting violent crime. This is a powerful moment to listen to police and behavioral health professionals to create the change we need in a special session,” Keller said in the press release. “Too often, the legislation we propose gets watered down to the point that it’s ineffective and funding is slashed from the amounts needed to make a difference. Now is the time to actually change the laws and provide the funding needed to fix a broken criminal justice system, to crack down on assault weapons, target fentanyl dealers, rebuild the addiction treatment system, and amp up resources for courts and prevention programs.”

Keller and Albuquerque Police Department Chief Harold Medina released an outline of requests they have that they feel would help ease the crime issues in Albuquerque.

Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham speaks during a press conference on Sept. 8, 2023 regarding a new public health order.

‘Cooling off period’: Gov bans firearms in public in BernCo

Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham announced a temporary ban on carrying guns in public in Bernalillo County and asked for federal help to address gun violence. The governor and public safety leadership from across the state held a press conference Friday afternoon to announce a comprehensive public health order relating to gun violence. On Thursday, Lujan Grisham issued an executive order declaring a public health emergency with regards to gun violence on Thursday. This was replaced by a more in-depth public health order released at Friday’s press conference. The public health order restricts firearms in either open or concealed carry on public property for 30 days as a cooling off period, she said.

New gun legislation push supported by NM Senators

The U.S. Senate is taking another crack at legislation to curb gun violence, a week after a shooting at an Oregon community college that left nine dead. Both U.S. Senators from New Mexico expressed support for the principles behind the legislation. The Senate introduced the legislation on Thursday with a letter from sponsors Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., and Debbie Stabinow, D-Mich. The letter was sent to their Senate colleagues, including both Democratic Senators from New Mexico. From NBC News:
The changes would “bolster the background check system by strengthening it and stopping those who try to evade it,” the letter said.