New Mexico’s Attorney General, Raul Torrez, publicly announced his refusal to defend Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham in lawsuits filed against her controversial gun control measures.
This unexpected development sent shockwaves through the political landscape of New Mexico and beyond. Torrez, a Democrat, made his position clear in a four-page letter addressed to Governor Grisham.
He stated while he acknowledges his statutory obligation as the state’s chief legal officer to defend state officials when they are sued in their official capacity, his duty to uphold and defend the constitutional rights of every citizen takes precedence.
"Do you really think that criminaIs are going to hear this message and not carry a gun in Albuquerque on the streets for 30 days?"
Gov of New Mexico: “no." 🤡🌎
She knows criminaIs won't follow this rule; it only works against law-abiding citizens. But she still does it. We… pic.twitter.com/9cOEyBtvsC
— Wall Street Silver (@WallStreetSilv) September 13, 2023
The attorney general expressed his belief that the Emergency Order issued by the Secretary of Health on September 8, 2023, which imposed temporary firearm restrictions among other public safety measures, would not have any meaningful impact on public safety.
More importantly, he voiced his concern that the order may not pass constitutional muster.
Torrez criticized Governor Grisham for taking unilateral action to suspend gun rights. He urged her to engage in a more thoughtful and deliberative process with members of the New Mexico legislature, rather than taking actions that infringe on the constitutional rights of law-abiding citizens.
He argued such actions have little if any discernible impact on the underlying dynamics driving gun violence in the community.
This sentiment was echoed by CNN host Poppy Harlow, who also admonished Grisham on air.
She read the New Mexico Constitution live on air, highlighting the section that states no law shall abridge the right of the citizen to keep and bear arms for security, defense, lawful hunting, recreational use, and other lawful purposes.
VIDEO THREAD: Gun owners – many visibly armed – rallied in old Town Albuquerque today to openly defy the New Mexico Governor's Executive Order banning the open and concealed carry of firearms there as a one-month "emergency."
Police did not intervene or enforce the order. pic.twitter.com/BAk0kDZC9A
— Ford Fischer (@FordFischer) September 10, 2023
Governor Grisham declared gun violence a public health emergency in response to several tragic shooting deaths. Her action plan included a suspension of open and concealed carry laws in Bernalillo County, temporarily prohibiting the carrying of guns on public property with certain exceptions.
However, this move was met with widespread resistance, with visibly armed gun owners rallying in Albuquerque shouting, “We will not comply!”
The refusal of Attorney General Torrez to defend Governor Grisham’s actions is a significant development. It underscores the deep divisions within the Democrat Party over the issue of gun control and raises questions about the constitutionality of the governor’s actions.