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New Mexico governor threatened with impeachment by Republican lawmakers over gun restrictions

Two Republican legislators filed a resolution Wednesday aimed at initiating impeachment proceedings against Democratic Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham over her emergency public health orders suspending the right to carry firearms in some public places in greater Albuquerque, such as parks and playgrounds.

The resolution from Reps. Stefani Lord of Sandia Park and John Block of Alamogordo accuses the governor of violating her oath of office to uphold the state and federal constitutions.

"The point is that she has too much power," said Lord, founder of the advocacy group Pro-Gun Women. "We're just trying to say to her, 'You have too much power, you're acting like a dictator. ... And we're going to impeach you.'"

In a statement obtained by CBS News, Lord called Lujan Grisham a disgrace to New Mexico. "The rights of New Mexicans are not up for debate," said Lord. "No matter how hard Lujan Grisham tries to violate the constitution, she will never succeed."

Block accused the governor of "violating the Constitution to make a political statement," noting that Lujan Grisham said she expected legal challenges from the outset.

Lujan Grisham spokesperson Maddy Hayden said in an email that the two sponsors of the resolution are more interested in political stunts than crafting meaningful legislation, citing their bills to criminalize necrophilia and offer sex offenders an early release from prison if they agree to chemical castration procedures.

"There's not much to say in direct response to this inane effort" at impeachment, Hayden said.

Following Wednesday's filings Representative Stefani Lord posted a statement on X saying, "The rights of the New Mexicans are not up for debate, and no matter how hard Lujan Grisham tries to violate the constitution, I will be there to stand firm against her tyranny."  

It's unclear whether the resolution, which outlines articles of impeachment, will advance to public committee deliberations in the state House, where Democrats outnumber Republicans 45 to 25.

Lujan Grisham, a second-term Democrat, invoked the emergency orders last year in response to a spate of gun violence including the fatal shooting of an 11-year-old boy outside a minor league baseball stadium.

Gun rights advocates have filed legal challenges to the orders and are urging the New Mexico Supreme Court to block them. The court recently heard oral arguments in the lawsuit brought by Republican state legislators, the National Rifle Association and several residents of the Albuquerque area, who include retired law enforcement officers, former federal agents, licensed firearms instructors and a gun shop owner.

In the federal court system, a judge has allowed enforcement of the gun provision to continue while legal challenges run their course.

Lujan Grisham delivered her second State of the State address on Tuesday, where she called for the following: a gun safety package that bans assault weapons, raises the legal purchase age for all guns to 21, institutes a 14-day waiting period, increasing penalties for felons in possession of a firearm, keeps guns out of parks and playgrounds, and allows law enforcement officers to file Extreme Risk Protection Orders to keep firearms away from people who are a danger to themselves or others. 

New Mexico lawmakers convened Tuesday for a 30-day session and could take up a broad slate of firearms proposals from the governor that aim to reduce gun violence, including a permanent statewide ban on firearms in public parks and playgrounds.

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