NEW MEXICO (KRQE) – The conversation surrounding Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham’s controversial public health order on gun violence has now made its way to the U.S. Congress.
The U.S. House Committee on Rules discussed Resolution 684, which would condemn Governor Lujan Grisham for her public health order.
“This ban is not only bad policy and detrimental to public safety, but it is blatantly unconstitutional,” said Rep. Tom Tiffany, a Republican from Wisconsin. “Americans have a constitutional right to carry a firearm in public for self-defense. It is settled law. In fact, everyone, but the governor, seems to think it’s a settled law.”
“Gun violence is an epidemic that the Governor of New Mexico could not ignore in her state,” said Rep. Jerry Nadler, a Democrat from New York.
Republicans mentioned how elected officials in the governor’s own party, like BCSO Sheriff John Allen and Attorney General Raul Torrez, refuse to enforce the ban on open and concealed carry of firearms on public parks and playgrounds. They also discussed the precedent this could set with public health emergencies and constitutional rights. Rep. Nadler disagreed.
“Apparently for Republicans, it is too much to ask that our playground be free from gun violence,” said Rep. Nadler.
He went on to say this issue was a matter for the courts, not Congress. Democrats at the meeting called the resolution a political stunt.
“Does this resolution have any tangible impact on policy in New Mexico or in the United States? Does it change the law in any way,” asked Rep. Jim McGovern, a Democrat from Massachusetts.
“It sends a clear message that we will defend the second amendment of the constitution here in the United States Congress,” responded Rep. Tiffany. Democrats argued this was a distraction to more pressing issues like avoiding a government shutdown. It was a sentiment New Mexico’s own representative echoed in the meeting.
“What we’ve been doing, we have incredibly important work to do in regards to funding our government, is actually spend a lot of time in this chamber attacking the rights of state under existing law to do so,” said Rep. Teresa Leger Fernandez.
The resolution is expected to go to the House floor for a vote Tuesday afternoon.
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“I will vote no on the GOP’s efforts to undermine New Mexico’s executive and distract from House Republicans’ complete inability to govern and pass a budget as they careen the U.S. government towards a shutdown. As millions face the prospect of not knowing how they’ll pay their bills, extremists in the GOP are pulling political stunts rather than addressing the needs of the American people, including the epidemic of gun violence. New Mexicans understand that and know we must take action,” said Rep. Melanie Stansbury in an emailed statement to KRQE.
KRQE also reached out to Rep. Gabe Vasquez’s and Rep. Leger Fernandez’s office who said they would comment on Tuesday.