East Mountain State Rep. Stefani Lord (R-Sandia Park), as well as John Block (R-Rio Rancho), are beginning impeachment proceedings, they announced in a news release Saturday.
The move that was part of a wider effort to stem rampant drug abuse and gun violence in the state’s largest city and most populace county “violates the constitutional rights of New Mexicans,” according to Lord’s news release.
“I am calling on counsel to begin the impeachment process against Governor Grisham,” Lord said in the release. “This is an abhorrent attempt at imposing a radical, progressive agenda on an unwilling populous. Rather than addressing crime at its core, Governor Grisham is restricting the rights of law-abiding gun owners. Even Grisham believes this emergency order won’t prohibit criminals from carrying or using weapons; a basic admission that this will only put New Mexicans in danger as they won’t be able to defend themselves from violent crime.”
Likewise, Bernalillo County Sheriff John Allen announced Friday that he would not back the governor.
As the elected sheriff, I have reservations regarding this order,” he said in a news release. “While I understand and appreciate the urgency, the temporary ban challenges the foundation of our Constitution, which I swore an oath to uphold. I am wary of placing my deputies in positions that could lead to civil liability conflicts, as well as the potential risks posed by prohibiting law-abiding citizens from their constitutional right to self-defense.”
Allen has called a news conference for Monday to further address the situation.
The gun orders that were included in a public health order, also directs:
· The Regulation and Licensing Division to conduct monthly inspections of licensed firearm dealers to ensure compliance with all sales and storage laws;
· The Department of Health, along with the Environment Department, to begin wastewater testing for illegal substances such as fentanyl at schools;
· The Department of Health to compile and issue a comprehensive report on gunshot victims presenting at hospitals in New Mexico, which shall include (if available): demographic data of gunshot victims, including age, gender, race, and ethnicity; data on gunshot victim’s healthcare outcomes; the brand and caliber of the firearm used; the general circumstances leading to the injury; the impact of gunshot victims on New Mexico’s healthcare system; and any other pertinent information.
It also includes a prohibition on firearms on state property, including state buildings and schools. This also includes other places of education where children gather, such as parks; directs the State Police to add officers in Albuquerque with funding for overtime provided and orders the Children, Youth and Families Department to immediately suspend the Juvenile Detention Alternative Initiative and evaluate juvenile probation protocols.
The governor’s release cited three recent shooting deaths of three Albuquerque youths, including an eleven-year-old boy Sept. 6 in a road rage incident in the parking lot following an Albuquerque Isotopes game as the impetus to declare a public health emergency and give her the power to issue her order.
“As I said yesterday, the time for standard measures has passed,” she said in the release. “And when New Mexicans are afraid to be in crowds, to take their kids to school, to leave a baseball game – when their very right to exist is threatened by the prospect of violence at every turn – something is very wrong.”
But Lord said that still doesn’t empower the governor to impose these measures.
“I have a newsflash for the governor,” she wrote. “The Second Amendment is an absolute right and so is my authority to impeach you for violating your oath to New Mexico and the United States.”
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