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Eunice passes gun rights resolution

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Eunice passes gun rights resolution

Levi Hill/News-Sun

Without much fanfare or discussion Monday, Eunice became the first community in Lea County to send a message to Gov. Michelle Lujan-Grisham — the constitutional right of its residents to bear arms will not be infringed.

“The Eunice City Council hereby declares its intent to support and defend the constitutional rights of its citizens, including the right to keep and bear arms for security and defense, for lawful hunting and recreational use and for other lawful purposes; and to adamantly oppose unconstitutional restrictions on such rights,” the resolution reads.

Eunice Mayor Billy Hobbs said Lea County Sheriff Corey Helton provided the resolution and is urging local communities to pass it.

The resolution will be forwarded to the office of Lujan Grisham.

Helton said the resolution is simply a symbolic gesture to the governor that her overreach will not be tolerated by New Mexicans who believe in the sovereignty of constitutional rights.

“There are a lot of things you need to pay attention to other than stripping firearms,” Helton said. “She says your constitutional rights are not absolute. I wonder what civics class she went to in high school?”

In February 2019, Lea County adopted a resolution declaring the county a “Second Amendment Sanctuary County.” A move at the time that was designed to stand against what supporters called anti-Second Amendment bills being entertained by the state legislature.

“The Second Amendment Sanctuary County resolution is still in effect,” Helton said. “This resolution is more symbolic.”

The sanctuary resolution passed in 2019 declared the “United States Constitution and its amendments are the supreme law of this great nation.” And further stated the proposed gun legislation at the time “violate the protection of the Second Amendment” and Article II, Section 6 of the Constitution of the State of New Mexico.

Helton said Lujan Grisham’s actions are textbook plays from the Democrats’ playbook.

“There is no one who is going to uphold this horrible thing she did,” he said. “She said she knew it would be challenged and she would probably lose. She said, ‘Let’s do it anyway.’ That is the Democrat play book.”

Earlier this month a federal judge blocked part of the governor’s public health order that suspended the right to carry guns in public in Albuquerque.

Helton said he is waiting to see if anyone files suit against Lujan Grisham under the terms of the 1983 code.

Section 1983 Litigation refers to lawsuits brought under Section 1983 of Title 42 of the United States Code, which provides an individual the right to sue state government employees and others acting “under color of state law” for civil rights violations.

Last week San Juan County officials also unanimously passed a resolution affirming the Second Amendment rights of its residents.

San Juan County Sheriff Shane Ferrari introduced the measure by describing Lujan Grisham’s action as unprecedented.

“Using a public health order to strip New Mexicans of the Second Amendment constitutional rights, I think, not only has been shocking to New Mexico but to our entire nation from both sides of the aisle,” he said. “This is the first time anything like this has been done.”

There is a movement among conservative New Mexico lawmakers to impeach Lujan Grisham, which couldn’t happen until the next legislative session, unless three-fifths of lawmakers from the Senate and the House agree to convene a special session.

Sen. David Gallegos, R-Eunice, said the number of legislators signing on for impeachment is growing, but likely won’t see enough, if any, support from Democrats.

“I don’t think there is enough Democrats who will switch sides, unless there is a push from the public,” Gallegos said.

So far, most of the support for impeachment has come from Republicans in the House with only a handful of state senators signing on. Twenty-two House Republicans and eight senators have signed the petition so far.

“The Speaker of the House is a heavy D,” Gallegos said. “I am hoping someone will take the shot with us, but I don’t think it will happen.”

In a statement, Lujan Grisham’s press secretary said, “It is unsurprising, but disappointing, that Republicans in the state are choosing to use this time to orchestrate a political stunt instead of coming up with solutions to protect all New Mexicans.”

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