New Mexico Attorney General Will Not Follow Governor’s Push to Ban Carrying Firearms

New Mexico Attorney General Raul Torrez has announced that his office will not defend Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham in lawsuits challenging her ban on carrying firearms.

In a letter addressed to the Governor on Tuesday, Torrez stated that his duty to uphold and defend citizens’ constitutional rights takes precedence over his statutory obligation to defend state officials, The Post Millennial reports.

Torrez, a career prosecutor in the state, expressed his sympathy for the victims of gun violence and acknowledged the urgency to address the issue.

However, he encouraged the Governor to engage in a thoughtful and deliberate process with the New Mexico Legislature rather than implementing unilateral actions that infringe on the rights of law-abiding citizens.

The Attorney General pointed out that the temporary firearm restrictions, issued by the Secretary of Health on September 8, 2023, prevent individuals from carrying firearms in public for self-defense.

He emphasized that this overreach of authority is inconsistent with both federal and state constitutions.

Torrez also highlighted the problematic nature of categorizing gun violence as a “public health emergency.”

He stated, “I believe it is unwise to stretch the definition of a ‘public health emergency’ to encompass something that is fundamentally a public safety issue.”

This decision by the Attorney General raises questions about the constitutionality and effectiveness of Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham’s gun restrictions.

It remains to be seen how these lawsuits will progress and whether the Governor will adjust her approach to addressing gun violence in collaboration with the legislature.