56th legislature - STATE OF NEW MEXICO - second session, 2024


John Block and Stefani Lord









     WHEREAS, Michelle Lujan Grisham was elected governor of the great state of New Mexico in 2018 and reelected in 2022; and

     WHEREAS, Governor Lujan Grisham took the oath of office of governor on January 1, 2019 and on January 1, 2023, during which she swore to support the constitution and the laws of the state and to faithfully and impartially discharge the duties of her office; and

     WHEREAS, Article 2, Section 6 of the constitution of New Mexico provides that no "law shall abridge the right of the citizen to keep and bear arms for security and defense, for lawful hunting and recreational use and for other lawful purposes, but nothing herein shall be held to permit the carrying of concealed weapons. No municipality or county shall regulate, in any way, an incident of the right to keep and bear arms"; and

     WHEREAS, the second amendment to the United States constitution states that a "well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed"; and

     WHEREAS, on September 7, 2023, Governor Lujan Grisham

issued Executive Order 2023-130, which declared a state of public health emergency due to gun violence effective through October 6, 2023, and directed the department of health, the department of homeland security and emergency management and the department of public safety to immediately collaborate with her office "to provide an effective and coordinated response to this public health emergency"; and

     WHEREAS, in the same executive order, she directed all political subdivisions of the state to comply with and enforce all directives pursuant to the order; and

     WHEREAS, on September 8, 2023, Governor Lujan Grisham directed department of health secretary Patrick Allen to issue a public health emergency order; and

     WHEREAS, that public health emergency order prohibited any person other than a law enforcement officer or licensed security officer from possessing a firearm "either openly or concealed, within cities or counties averaging 1,000 or more violent crimes per 100,000 residents per year since 2021 according to Federal Bureau of Investigation's Uniform Crime Reporting Program AND more than 90 firearm-related emergency department visits per 100,000 residents from July 2022 to June 2023 according to the New Mexico Department of Public Health", which effectively applied to residents in Bernalillo county and the city of Albuquerque; and

     WHEREAS, by doing so, Governor Lujan Grisham usurped New Mexicans' and Americans' constitutional right to "keep and bear arms"; and

     WHEREAS, during a press conference announcing the measure on September 8, 2023, Governor Lujan Grisham said, "we're suspending open and concealed carry", admitting, "I am sure before you [the media] write this, there will be a legal challenge, and I can't tell you that we win it, given all of the different challenges to gun violence laws and restrictions on individual firearm access and control"; and

     WHEREAS, this statement is an admission by the governor that the order may be unconstitutional; and

     WHEREAS, USA Today reported on September 12, 2023 that the "governor has acknowledged that the order might not be constitutional and said she expected legal challenges"; and

     WHEREAS, Governor Lujan Grisham further said, "no constitutional right, in my view, including my oath, is intended to be absolute"; and

     WHEREAS, elected officials and leaders in New Mexico and across the country, both democratic and republican, stated they believed the order was unconstitutional; and

     WHEREAS, Raúl Torrez, the democratic attorney general of New Mexico, wrote in a letter to the governor, "I do not believe that the [e]mergency [o]rder will have any meaningful impact on public safety but, more importantly, I do not believe it passes constitutional muster" and in an interview with an Albuquerque television station, he further said, "I'm not ethically permitted to defend this action"; and

     WHEREAS, democratic Sheriff John Allen of Bernalillo county said on September 11, 2023, referring to the governor's order: "It's unconstitutional, so there's no way we can enforce that order...This is unconstitutional and like I said, I uphold my oath seriously"; and

     WHEREAS, democratic Mayor Tim Keller of Albuquerque wrote via X on September 8, 2023: "We welcome meaningful solutions and additional resources to fight crime in Albuquerque. APD is not responsible for enforcing the governor's ban, our officers will continue to enforce all criminal laws, combat gun violence, and push for needed justice in our city"; and

     WHEREAS, Sam Bregman, the democratic first judicial district attorney of Albuquerque, who was appointed by Governor Lujan Grisham, said in reference to the governor's order on September 9, 2023: "as an officer of the court, I cannot and will not enforce something that is clearly unconstitutional"; and

     WHEREAS, democratic United States Representative Gabe Vasquez of New Mexico said in reference to a congressional resolution condemning Governor Lujan Grisham, "I plan on voting yes for the resolution...we must produce constitutional, legal and enforceable solutions that will help protect our children and families," per a September 20, 2023, Roswell Daily Record report; and

     WHEREAS, democratic United States Senator Martin Heinrich of New Mexico said in a September 11, 2023 statement: "there is more that can and should be done to stem the violence and ensure every American can feel safe at school, at the grocery store or at the movie theatre. As we do that work, we need to focus on solutions that are constitutional and enforceable"; and 

     WHEREAS, democratic United States Representative Ted Lieu of California wrote via X on September 9, 2023: "I support gun safety laws. However, this order from the governor of New Mexico violates the U.S. Constitution. No state in the union can suspend the federal Constitution. There is no such thing as a state public health emergency exception to the U.S. Constitution"; and

     WHEREAS, democratic state Senator Joseph Cervantes of Las Cruces wrote of the order on September 11, 2023, via a post on X: "An unconstitutional approach undermines the important collaboration gun issues deserve, and the important role of a Governor to lead genuine reforms"; and

     WHEREAS, Governor Lujan Grisham swore by oath on January 1, 2019 and again on January 1, 2023: "I, Michelle Lujan Grisham, do solemnly swear to support the constitution of the United States and the constitution and the laws of the state of New Mexico, and that I will faithfully and impartially discharge the duties of the office of governor on which I am about to enter, to the best of my ability, so help me God"; and

     WHEREAS, Governor Lujan Grisham broke this oath of office by knowingly and intentionally infringing upon the constitutional rights of New Mexicans and Americans to keep and bear arms; and

     WHEREAS, Governor Lujan Grisham violated Article 2, Section 6 of the constitution of New Mexico and the second amendment to the United States constitution by issuing Executive Order 2023-130 and directing issuance of the September 8, 2023 public health order; and

     WHEREAS, Article 4, Section 36 of the constitution of New Mexico provides that all state officers "...shall be liable to impeachment for crimes, misdemeanors and malfeasance in office"; and 

     WHEREAS, Governor Lujan Grisham's actions amount in the very least to malfeasance in office;

     NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED BY THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES OF THE STATE OF NEW MEXICO that the members of the house of representatives condemn Governor Lujan Grisham's actions as unconstitutional and as malfeasance in office that warrant her impeachment and removal from office; and

     BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that copies of this memorial be transmitted to the governor, United States Representative Ted Lieu, United States Senator Martin Heinrich, United States Representative Gabe Vasquez, the attorney general, the president pro tempore of the senate, the majority floor leader of the senate, the minority floor leader of the senate, the majority whip of the senate, the minority whip of the senate, the executive director of the state ethics commission, Senator Joseph Cervantes, the mayor of Albuquerque, the district attorney of the second judicial district, the sheriff of Bernalillo county and the secretary of health.

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