Publisher's Note: This post appears here courtesy of the The Daily Wire. The author of this post is Tim Pearce.
New Mexico Attorney General Raul Torrez will not defend Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham's controversial gun order, which is facing multiple lawsuits, in court.
Torrez told the governor in a letter Tuesday that he believed the emergency order, which temporarily bans people from carrying firearms in public spaces across Bernalillo County, violated the state and federal constitutions. Because of that, he said his office would not defend the governor against several legal challenges.
"I am writing to inform you that my office will not defend your administration in the above referenced cases challenging"
Lujan Grisham's order, Torrez wrote.
"Though I recognize my statutory obligation as New Mexico's chief legal officer to defend state officials when they are sued in their official capacity, my duty to uphold and defend the constitutional rights of every citizen takes precedence,"
his letter continued. "Simply put, I do not believe that the Emergency Order will have any meaningful impact on public safety but, more importantly, I do not believe it passes constitutional muster."
Lujan Grisham signed an executive order on Friday that banned open and concealed carrying firearms in Albuquerque and the rest of the surrounding county. The governor enacted the order - to remain in place for 30 days - after a spate of shootings that killed several children.
"The tragic deaths of 5-year-old Galilea Samaniego in a recent drive-by shooting and 11-year-old Froylan Villegas in a road rage incident should serve as a wakeup call to everyone,"
Torrez wrote. "I encourage you to engage in a more thoughtful and deliberative process with members of the New Mexico Legislature rather than taking unilateral action that infringes on the constitutional rights of law-abiding citizens while having little if any discernible impact on the underlying dynamics driving gun violence in our community."
Torrez, a Democrat, joins a handful of other officials in refusing to enforce or defend the order. Albuquerque Mayor Tim Keller, also a Democrat, said in a statement to social media that the city's police force would not be responsible for enforcing the governor's order. Bernalillo County Sheriff John Allen announced on Monday that he would not enforce the order either, calling it unconstitutional.
Lujan Grisham responded to Allen in a statement to the NM Political Report, saying that her administration had "given you the tools, Sheriff Allen - now stop being squeamish about using them. I will not back down from doing what's right and I will always put the safety of the people of New Mexico first."
Lujan Grisham said in an interview on CNN: "It's not for police to tell me what's constitutional or not. They haven't supported one, not one gun violence effort in the State of New Mexico including domestic violence protections, universal background checks."
The New Mexico governor has also taken criticism from prominent national progressives over her gun order, such as California Rep. Ted Lieu and gun control activist David Hogg. Each said that the governor's order violated the U.S. Constitution.