Scream it from the top of a mountain: “Given that only responsible gun owners are likely to abide, much less recognize your ban, it is unclear how this action will lead to a measurable decline in gun violence in our community.”
New Mexico Attorney General Raúl Torrez, a Democrat, told Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham, also a Democrat, that his office cannot endorse her gun carry ban.
Why not? The Constitution.
Man, I wish the people in D.C. cared about the Constitution as much as the New Mexico officials who won’t enforce the insane “public emergency order.”
BREAKING: New Mexico Attorney General tells the Governor that he won't defend her carry ban, saying "I do not believe it passes constitutional muster." pic.twitter.com/ORat27wAvn
— Firearms Policy Coalition (@gunpolicy) September 12, 2023
“Though I recognize my statutory obligations 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,” wrote Torrez.
“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.”
The order only affects Bernalillo County, which is home to Albuquerque, the state’s largest city.
Despite that, Torrez noted that the order “is highly problematic because it purports to alter lawful firearm possession in ways that are inconsistent with the Federal and State Constitution.”
The order violates the Second Amendment. Torrez cited Heller, which says the amendment isn’t “unlimited,” but it does not concern the order.
(For the record, every gun law is unconstitutional. There is a period at the end of the amendment. It lacks the words/phrases “except for,” “but,” and “however”)
Then Torrez brought up Bruen, which states that laws can regulate guns, but the laws “may not infringe upon the right of an ordinary, law-abiding citizen to…carry handguns publicly for their self-defense.'”
“The New Mexico Constitution likewise secures the right to keep and bear arms,” continued Torrez. “New Mexico’s provision specifically applies to ‘security and defense,’ as well as to ‘lawful hunting,’ recreational use,’ and ‘other lawful purposes.'”
The Bruen Court emphasized that the importance of a governmental objective is irrelevant to the constitutionality of a state’s regulation of firearms. If the regulation interferes with an individual’s right to amend self-defense, it is presumptively unconstitutional and can only be upheld if the government is able to “affirmatively prove that its firearm regulation is part of the historical tradition that delimits the outer bounds of the right to keep and bear arms.” Bruen, 142 S. CT. at 2127. As indicated above, the novel reclassification of gun violence as a “public health emergency” appears to have been adopted as a pretext to apply the extraordinary but narrowly proscribed powers of the PHERA to prohibit all citizens, regardless of their criminal intent or conduct, to possess firearms in public. Unfortunately, it is the very novelty of this approach that places it outside the “historical tradition” of gun regulation in this country and thus unlikely to survive judicial scrutiny.
Torrez also expressed a problem with the governor relying on the Public Emergency Response Act (PHERA) because it “distorts that law’s meaning beyond its intended purpose of protecting the public from the ‘imminent threat of exposure to an extremely dangerous condition or a highly infectious or toxic agent, including a threatening communicable disease.'”
Torrez reminded the governor that labeling gun violence as a “public health emergency” doesn’t erase the standard to justify “the blanket prohibition against any citizen, regardless of criminal conduct or intent, from carrying a firearm for personal protection.”
Hundreds of Albuquerque residents protested the order. They brought their guns. Some people had those scary looking big guns!
The protest was more peaceful than anything we saw in the summer of 2020. Nothing happened. Absolutely nothing.
Where are these smart people in DC? The county sheriff said the same thing: “Given that only responsible gun owners are likely to abide, much less recognize your ban, it is unclear how this action will lead to a measurable decline in gun violence in our community.”
My goodness…THANK YOU.
Torrez also reminded the governor that people still have reservations about the government using health restrictions due to the COVID pandemic.DONATE
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