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NRA Files Lawsuit Challenging Lujan Grisham’s Unconstitutional Order Banning Public Carry

Thursday, September 14, 2023

NRA Files Lawsuit Challenging Lujan Grisham’s Unconstitutional Order Banning Public Carry

Today, NRA led a coalition of parties in a legal challenge against New Mexico Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham and Department of Health Secretary Patrick Allen’s unconstitutional orders banning the carrying of firearms in Bernalillo County and on all state property under the guise of a public health emergency.

Last Thursday, Governor Lujan Grisham issued an Executive Order declaring that “a state of public emergency exists throughout the State due to gun violence.” A similar Executive Order was issued declaring a state of public health emergency due to drug abuse.” The following day, Secretary Allen invoked emergency powers under those two executive orders, and issued a Public Health Order prohibiting possessing a firearm, “either openly or concealed,” within Bernalillo County and on all state property and mandating that licensed firearms dealers be inspected on a monthly basis. (The orders also require that a program be developed for testing wastewater for “illicit substances … at all public schools,” and suspend a program designed to rehabilitate juveniles without imprisoning them.) Violating the Order carries a fine of up to $5,000.

These orders were issued despite last year’s Supreme Court ruling that the Second Amendment protects a right to carry a firearm outside the home. But even worse, the New Mexico Constitution also guarantees the right to keep and bear arms. New Mexican courts have proclaimed that the right to keep and bear arms “stands shoulder to shoulder with the most basic guarantees of individual liberty against the power of the state.” New Mexican courts have also held that a locality cannot ban carrying of firearms in public. Such a ban “purports to completely prohibit the ‘right to bear arms.’”

Lujan Grisham nevertheless refused to let the Constitution stand in her way. She was told that these orders were unconstitutional by several other officials but refused to hear it. Instead, she said that her oath to uphold the Constitution was “not absolute.” That is absolutely wrong. Justice Potter Stewart said it best 50 years ago: “The needs of [the government] stand in constant tension with the Constitution’s protections of the individual against certain exercises of official power. It is precisely the predictability of these pressures that counsels a resolute loyalty to constitutional safeguards.”

These orders are also a power grab in violation of the state Constitution, which vests legislative authority in the legislature. New Mexico law generally allows law-abiding individuals to carry firearms openly or concealed with a license. (The legislature also rejected a bill to test for illicit substances in public schools and supported the juvenile probation program that the order now suspends.) Lujan Grisham has a constitutional duty to execute state law—and the Constitution. She must allow people to exercise the legal rights granted to them. There are no exceptions. The Constitution does not take a vacation during so-called emergencies. New Mexico’s Public Health Emergency Response Act (“PHERA”) and the New Mexico Supreme Court directly told the governor this in Grisham v. Reeb: “PHERA’s purpose is to … ‘provide the state of New Mexico with the ability to manage public health emergencies in a manner that protects civil rights and the liberties of individual persons.’” 

These orders cannot go unchallenged. That is why NRA challenged them directly in the New Mexico Supreme Court. The case is captioned Ambdor v. Michelle Lujan Grisham. Other parties to the lawsuit include the Republican party of New Mexico, Libertarian Party of New Mexico, several members of the legislature, law-abiding gun owners, law-enforcement professionals, and an FFL who are all affected by the orders.  

Please stay tuned to www.nraila.org for future updates on NRA-ILA’s ongoing efforts to defend your constitutional rights.

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Louisiana: House Passes Constitutional Carry, Now Headed to Gov. Landry’s Desk for His Signature

Wednesday, February 28, 2024

Louisiana: House Passes Constitutional Carry, Now Headed to Gov. Landry’s Desk for His Signature

Today, the House voted 75-28 to pass Senate Bill 1, the NRA-backed constitutional carry legislation that passed the Senate last week.

Washington: Two Anti-Gun Bills Advance Through the Legislature

Wednesday, February 28, 2024

Washington: Two Anti-Gun Bills Advance Through the Legislature

On Tuesday, February 27th, HB 2118, the “FFL Killer” passed the Senate, and SB 5444, "sensitive places" expansion, passed the House. Both bills were amended in the second chamber and now must return to their ...

Minnesota: Two Anti Gun Bills Scheduled to be Heard in Committee

Wednesday, February 28, 2024

Minnesota: Two Anti Gun Bills Scheduled to be Heard in Committee

On Thursday February 28th at 10:30 am, House File 601 and House File 4300 will be heard in Room 200 of the State Office Building by the Public Safety Finance and Policy Committee and the Children and ...

Colorado: Anti-Gun Bills Continue to Move through the State Legislature

Thursday, February 29, 2024

Colorado: Anti-Gun Bills Continue to Move through the State Legislature

Two anti-gun bills continue to move in the Colorado State Legislature. HB24-1174, introduced by Majority Leader Monica Duran (D-HD 23),  is set to be heard next week in the House Finance Committee. HB24-1310 , introduced by ...

Maine: PETITION: Stand with Maine Gun Retailers

Monday, February 26, 2024

Maine: PETITION: Stand with Maine Gun Retailers

Gun Control groups are launching an all-out assault on the Second Amendment in Maine. Their most recent tactic?

South Dakota: Enhanced Conceal Carry Legislation Headed to Governor Noem's Desk

Thursday, February 29, 2024

South Dakota: Enhanced Conceal Carry Legislation Headed to Governor Noem's Desk

On February 27th, Senate Bill 203 received final passage on the House floor on a vote of 62-8. The legislation will now head to Governor Noem's desk for her consideration.

Michigan: “Gun-Free Zone” Legislation Passed in the Senate

Thursday, February 29, 2024

Michigan: “Gun-Free Zone” Legislation Passed in the Senate

House Bill 4127 and House Bill 4128, legislation that would restrict law-abiding gun owners in and around polling places, which includes ballot drop boxes, passed out of the Senate will be sent back to the House ...

Ohio: Gun Owner Credit Card Privacy Bill Passes the Senate

Thursday, February 29, 2024

Ohio: Gun Owner Credit Card Privacy Bill Passes the Senate

Yesterday, the Senate Veterans and Public Safety Committee passed Senate Bill 148, The Second Amendment Privacy Act. The bill was quickly sent to the Senate floor where it passed by a vote of 25-7. This ...

Oklahoma: Pro-Gun Constitutional Amendment Strengthening the Right to Keep and Bear Arms Passes Committee

Wednesday, February 28, 2024

Oklahoma: Pro-Gun Constitutional Amendment Strengthening the Right to Keep and Bear Arms Passes Committee

Yesterday, House Joint Resolution 1034, a joint resolution proposing to amend the Oklahoma constitution to provide further protections for the right to keep and bear arms, was passed by the House Rules Committee and is ...

Maine: Gun Registries, Red Flags, Universal Background Checks and more.

Tuesday, February 27, 2024

Maine: Gun Registries, Red Flags, Universal Background Checks and more.

It has been a busy week for Maine’s anti-gun politicians. From releasing a new bill that would implement Universal Background Checks and Red Flag laws in Maine, to Rep. Jared Golden (ME-02) pushing for a ...

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NRA ILA

Established in 1975, the Institute for Legislative Action (ILA) is the "lobbying" arm of the National Rifle Association of America. ILA is responsible for preserving the right of all law-abiding individuals in the legislative, political, and legal arenas, to purchase, possess and use firearms for legitimate purposes as guaranteed by the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.