NEW MEXICO (KRQE) – As lawsuits pile up against the governor’s open and concealed carry ban, the Republican Party of New Mexico is now jumping into the legal battle. They are not only challenging the governor but also the Department of Health.
“The Republican Party of New Mexico will drop tomorrow the lawsuit against the governor. Somebody has to be a voice for the people, and we will do that,” said RPNM Chairman and former Congressman Steve Pearce.
Flanked by dozens of supporters in Albuquerque, the New Mexico GOP said it will join the fight against the governor’s 30-day health order that blocks open and concealed firearm carrying in Bernalillo County.
“We are here for, maybe, the most important issue of our lifetime. The issue is one person above the law. I think we are here with the demonstration that no one is above the law,” added Pearce.
While their planned lawsuit challenges the constitutionality of the governor’s order, State GOP leaders mentioned their bigger worry is that the health order took effect to begin with.
Pearce said at the press conference on Tuesday, “Our lawsuit doesn’t just deal with again the guns, it’s going to deal with her ability to use these health orders and executive orders.”
Pearce claims the governor is overreaching her authority by using the state’s public health order law to associate guns with health problems.
“Do you hear what she’s saying? That gun violence is a health problem, and she has now invoked an executive order based on a public health order. That is not the right to take away anybody’s freedom. That is not the right to abridge any constitutional provision, and we are going to take that. It’s a very difficult case that our lawyer has said, but that is where we are headed,” added Pearce.
The GOP’s lawsuit should be filed tomorrow. It would mark the seventh lawsuit filed against the governor’s order which is set to last through October 8.
New Mexico Attorney General Raúl Torrez said this afternoon his office will not defend the governor’s administration in any lawsuits. He joins the Bernalillo County District Attorney Sam Bregman, the Bernalillo County Sheriff’s Office, and the Albuquerque Police Department who’ve all said they will not enforce the order.