47 P.3d 441 (N.M. 2002), 27,149, Baca v. New Mexico Dept. of Public Safety

Docket Nº:27,149.
Citation:47 P.3d 441, 132 N.M. 282, 2002 -NMSC- 17
Opinion Judge:[12] The opinion of the court was delivered by: Per Curiam
Party Name:Jim BACA, Petitioner, v. NEW MEXICO DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC SAFETY, Respondent, and Ken McWethy, Heather Bartels, and Paul Lisle, Intervenors.
Attorney:Vogel, Campbell, Blueher & Castle, P.C. David S. Campbell, Albuquerque, NM, for Petitioner., Patricia A. Madrid, Attorney General, Jerome Marshak, Assistant Attorney General, Santa Fe, NM, for Respondent., John James D'Amato, Shannon Robinson, Albuquerque, NM, Stephen P. Halbrook, Fairfax, VA, fo...
Case Date:June 04, 2002
Court:Supreme Court of New Mexico
 
FREE EXCERPT

Page 441

47 P.3d 441 (N.M. 2002)

132 N.M. 282, 2002 -NMSC- 17

Jim BACA, Petitioner,

v.

NEW MEXICO DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC SAFETY, Respondent,

and

Ken McWethy, Heather Bartels, and Paul Lisle, Intervenors.

No. 27,149.

Supreme Court of New Mexico

June 4, 2002.

Page 442

[132 N.M. 283] Vogel, Campbell, Blueher & Castle, P.C. David S. Campbell, Albuquerque, NM, for Petitioner.

Patricia A. Madrid, Attorney General, Jerome Marshak, Assistant Attorney General, Santa Fe, NM, for Respondent.

John James D'Amato, Shannon Robinson, Albuquerque, NM, Stephen P. Halbrook, Fairfax, VA, for Intervenors.

Rene C. Ostrochovsky, Albuquerque, NM, for Amici Curiae, Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence, New Mexico Advocates for Children and Families, New Mexico Council on Crime and Delinquency, and New Mexico Pediatric Society.

OPINION

PER CURIAM.

{1} Petitioner Jim Baca, invoking this Court's constitutional power of original jurisdiction in mandamus, seeks a writ of mandamus prohibiting the Department of Public Safety from enforcing the provisions of the Concealed Handgun Carry Act, NMSA 1978, § 29-18-1 to -12 (2001). See N.M. Const. art. VI, § 3 (establishing this Court's original jurisdiction in mandamus). Petitioner contends that the Act violates Article II, Section 6 of the New Mexico Constitution because, he argues, this constitutional provision prohibits the carrying of concealed weapons. Alternatively, Petitioner argues that the Act is unconstitutional because it permits local governments to regulate an incident of the right to bear arms in conflict with Article II, Section 6. We conclude that the Act unconstitutionally allows municipalities and counties to regulate an incident of the right to bear arms and thus issue the writ of mandamus on this basis. As a result, we need not reach the argument that Article II, Section 6 prohibits the carrying of concealed weapons.

I. Standing

{2} Petitioner initially filed his petition in his individual capacity as well as in his official capacity as Mayor of the City of Albuquerque. Following oral argument, this Court directed the parties to brief several

Page 443

[132 N.M. 284] specific questions. During this additional briefing, Martin J. Chavez succeeded Petitioner as Mayor of Albuquerque. Mayor Chavez then moved to substitute himself as public officer pursuant to Rule 12-301(C) NMRA 2002 and to strike the petition on the ground that it no longer represented the position of the Mayor of Albuquerque. In response, Petitioner contended that we should not dismiss the petition because he has standing to pursue the matter in his individual capacity. We granted Mayor Chavez's motion to substitute based on Rule 12-301(C) and now permit him to withdraw as a party due to his rejection of the petition. However, we have denied Mayor Chavez's motion to strike the petition based on our decision to confer standing on Petitioner to maintain this action in his individual capacity due to the importance of the issues involved.

{3} Petitioner seeks to invoke this Court's original jurisdiction in mandamus. "Assuming mandamus would otherwise lie, we exercise our power of original jurisdiction in mandamus if the case presents a purely legal issue that is a fundamental constitutional question of great public importance." County of Bernalillo v. N.M. Pub. Regulation Comm'n (In re Adjustments to Franchise Fees), 2000 NMSC 035, ¶ 6, 129 N.M. 787, 14 P.3d 525. "We have recognized mandamus as a proper proceeding in which to question the constitutionality of legislative enactments." State ex rel. Sego v. Kirkpatrick, 86 N.M. 359, 363, 524 P.2d 975, 979 (1974). In this context,

it has been clearly and firmly established that even though a private party may not have standing to invoke the power of this Court to resolve constitutional questions and enforce constitutional compliance...

To continue reading

FREE SIGN UP