Any attempt to confiscate firearms under the firearm bans recently proposed by President Obama and Senator Diane Feinstein, as was done during the Katrina disaster response by National Guard and LA police agencies, will face stiff resistance from the duly elected sheriffs' departments of this country.
As a result of the efforts of the Constitutional Sheriffs and Peace Officers Associaiton (CSPOA) 220 Sheriffs across the country have reaffirmed their intent to protect and to defend the Constitution of the United States from all enemies, foreign and domestic. CSPOA led by former Sheriff Richard Mack (Graham County, AZ Sheriff ) has led the effort to get support from constitutionally elected Sheriffs and from serving and former peace officers from all jurisdictions across the country. All law enforcement officials, including Sheriff’s deputies, peace officers, constables, and all federal law enforcement officials, swear the same oath to protect and defend the Constitution of the United States as do military and all elected officials.
The CSPOA has several membership categories for Sheriffs and peace officers, and a citizen’s possee membership for those not former or serving law enforcement.
The 220 sheriffs who have supported the opposition to any attempt to diminish or to compromise the Second Amendment rights of their constituents have made clear their intent to oppose any attempt by the federal government to confiscate firearms within their jurisdictions. The Utah Sheriff’s Association stated their commitment in a letter dated 17 January, 2012, which states in part:
“. . . With the number of mass shootings America has endured, it is easy to demonize firearms; it is also foolish and prejudiced. Firearms are nothing more than instruments, valuable and potentially dangerous, but instruments nonetheless. Malevolent souls, like the criminals who commit mass murders, will always exploit valuable instruments in the pursuit of evil. As professional peace officers, if we understand nothing else, we understand this: lawful violence must sometimes be employed to deter and stop criminal violence. Consequently, the citizenry must continue its ability to keep and bear arms, including arms that adequately protect them from all types of illegality.
. . . We respect the Office of the President of the United States of America. But, make no mistake, as the duly-elected sheriffs of our respective counties, we will enforce the rights guaranteed to our citizens by the Constitution. No federal official will be permitted to descend upon our constituents and take from them what the Bill of Rights–in particular Amendment II–has given them. We, like you, swore a solemn oath to protect and defend the Constitution of the United States, and we are prepared to trade our lives for the preservation of its traditional interpretation.
The Utah Sheriff’s Association”
In New Mexico, 30 out of 33 county sheriffs will not act to support any federal law that violates the Second Amendment rights of the people in their jurisdictions. 220 Sheriffs nationwide have individually given their support to oppose any attempt by the federal government to restrict the Second Amendment rights of their constituents. Sheriff Joe Arpaio of Maricopa County, AZ and Sheriff David Clark, Jr. of Milwaukee County, WI are among the 220 sheriffs who have pledged to uphold the Second Amendment rights of their constituents.
Although, a New Hampshire legislator very recently introduced legislation to reinstate the “citizen’s duty to run when confronted by a criminal” provision previously removed from New Hampshire’s Castle Doctrine, thereby giving the advantage to the armed criminal, at least one sheriff in NH has put the Constitution first. Sheriff Douglas R. Dutile, Grafton County, NH has given his support to CSPOA’s and Oath Keeper’s efforts to put the Constitution first over politics.
Unlike the big city police chiefs standing behind Senator Diane Feinstein when she announced her incredible affront to the Second Amendment that is her gun and magazine ban legislation, the sheriffs of this nation are elected officials, not appointed. They answer to their constituents, not to the county executive branch. The big city police chiefs with Sen. Feinstein represent only the mayors and city council of their respective cities and not the people. The police departments of those big cities are also unionized. It is not in their best interest to have their influence diminished through downsizing brought about by budget cuts due to the recession. Therefore, they will act as their mayors’ marionettes to keep their jobs and to continue to expand already inefficient and bloated bureaucracies in the face of diminishing fiscal resources.
Only Sheriff David Clark, Jr. of Milwaukee County, WI has publically declared what is already known by most citizens in this country who do not have their hand out to government. With the ongoing recession, government services are being reduced, including public safety. Sheriff Clark noticed his constituents with a public service announcement: “With officers laid off and furloughed simply calling 911 and waiting is no longer an option. You can beg for mercy from a violent criminal, hide under the bed, or you can fight back; but are you prepared? Consider taking a certified safety course in handling a firearm so you can defend yourself until we get there. You have a duty to protect yourself and your family. We’re partners now. Can I count on you?”
Sheriff David Clark, Jr. has been castigated publically by anti-gun groups as promoting vigilantism, rather than recognizing that he was doing his duty in reminding his constituents that the duty to self protection rests with the individual citizen, not government. Budget cuts meant reduced services, therefore, more emphasis on the individual’s right to self-protection with a firearm. This is something you would never see or hear from one of the big city police chiefs, even though many of them have had to make hard decisions to cut back.
In its December, 2012 decision overturning Illinois ban on concealed carry, the 7th Circuit recognized our right to self-protection with a firearm under the Second Amendment extended beyond the home to wherever we might be.
Oath Keepers and Gun Owners of America are two organizations working with CSPOA to get the message out to all gun owners and all who have sworn the oath to protect and defend the Constitution of the United States from all enemies, foreign and domestic. Oath Keepers focuses on serving and prior military, including National Guard, serving and former peace officers, and fire fighters. There is a Citizen Associate Membership available for those who have not served in one of the aforementioned categories. The motto for Oath Keepers is “Not on our watch!”
Gun Owners of America is an uncompromising pro-Second Amendment gun rights organization.
For more information:
Hillsdale College offers free online courses on the Constitution of the United States
Constitutional Sheriffs and Peace Officers Assocition:
Gun Owners of America
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