Governor Renews, Expands Executive Orders Around Gun Violence and Substance Misuse

Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham renewed and extended her controversial executive orders on gun violence and substance misuse on Friday.

The new public health order includes an additional provision requiring the New Mexico Department of Public Safety to “organize safe surrender events (also known as “gun buy-backs”) in the cities of Albuquerque, Española, and Las Cruces within thirty days.” The governor is expected to announce new funding for these efforts next week.

New Mexico Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham
Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham signs an executive order relating to gun violence, Sept. 2023 (Office of the Gov)

“The fact of the matter is that New Mexicans are still being threatened, injured and killed by firearms. Just yesterday, two guns were found in the possession of students at an Albuquerque high school, and while thankfully no one was hurt, these incidents have profound psychological effects on our children,” said Lujan Grisham. “The last four weeks have clearly demonstrated the impact we can have on violent crime when we work in better coordination, but the situation remains dire. We’re not letting up, and I’m continuing to make investments that drive down violence in our communities and protect our children.”

A federal court halted enforcement of provisions of the original order banning the concealed carrying of firearms in Bernalillo County. The governor then revised her order to restrict concealed carry in parks and schools.

State Insurance Agency Compromised

Law enforcement, state information-technology officials and outside third-party forensic experts are investigating the potential hacking of the state Office of the Superintendent of Insurance, a quasi-independent agency regulating insurance companies and policies.

The agency regulates the state’s insurance industry and last week its network crashed and continues to face issues in what officials are calling a cyber incident.

It is the second time within the past year that a state governmental agency has been targeted after the Regulation and Licensing Department was compromised in October 2022, with numerous organizations and individuals information at risk.

Las Cruces Police Officer Facing Manslaughter Charges

Las Cruces police officer Brad Lunsford has been charged with voluntary manslaughter with a firearm enhancement after an August 2022 case in which a man was shot in the back of the head.

New Mexico Attorney General Raúl Torrez announced the charges Oct.2.

The charges arise after police were called to a convenience store about a theft in progress.

Lunsford and another officer responded and foundPresley Eze in a car. He was ordered out of his car and a scuffled occurred, during which Eze was restrained on the ground. At some point, according to the AG’s office, Eze was shot and killed.

Body-camera footage, police reports and other evidence showed the shooting was “unjustifiable,” the AG’s office said.

If convicted, Lunsford could face from six to 11 years in prison.

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