In defense of the Second Amendment, a growing assemblage of sheriffs and lawmen (and women) are voicing an unequivocal and vocal “no” to gun laws deemed unconstitutional. Sheriffs – those with oversight in rural areas of the country especially – are vowing to stand against and ignore the enforcement of restrictive gun laws that they deem anathema to our country’s protected civil liberties.
Writes NBC News: “With more states passing stronger gun control laws, rural sheriffs across the country are taking their role as defenders of the Constitution to a new level by protesting such restrictions and, in some cases, refusing to enforce the laws.”
One of the poster sheriffs, if you will, of the off-putting federal gun laws is Wicomico County, Maryland Sheriff Mike Lewis.
“State police and highway patrol get their orders from the governor,” Lewis said. “I get my orders from the citizens in this county.”
Lewis fashions himself as a last man standing sentinel, guarding the rights of the people within his community and vowing a “civil war” if the federal government oversteps their ground when it comes to gun law enforcement.
“I made a vow and a commitment that as long as I’m the sheriff of this county I will not allow the federal government to come in here and strip my law-abiding citizens of the right to bear arms,” Lewis told NBC News. “If they attempt to do that it will be an all-out civil war. Because I will stand toe-to-toe with my people.”
Wilson isn’t alone. A surging contingency of sheriffs find themselves disagreeing with federal gun control laws, and are speaking out about it.
“I studied what the Founding Fathers meant about the Second Amendment, the right to keep and bear arms, and the conclusion is inescapable,” said Richard Mack, a former Arizona sheriff and the founder of the Constitutional Sheriffs and Peace Officers Association (CSPOA). “There’s no way around it. Gun control in America is against the law.”
Writes NBC News: “A handful of [New York] state’s 62 sheriffs have vowed not to enforce the high-capacity magazine and assault-weapon bans… Colorado made national headlines when 55 of its 62 sheriffs attempted to sign on as plaintiffs in a lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of several 2013 gun control bills in the state.”
Opposing Views adds:
Maryland Delegate Don Dwyer, a Republican, made the startling claim that sheriffs should act like judges.
“The role of a sheriff is to be the interposer between the law and the citizen,” Dwyer told NBC News. “He should stand between the government and citizen in every issue pertaining to the law.”
Dwyer claims that sheriffs can nullify, or ignore, any law that they personally believe is unconstitutional based upon "nullification" writings, not actual law, of James Madison in the Virginia Resolution of 1798, which was written in secret.
Should Sheriffs be tasked with "interpreting" federal gun laws or be allowed a buffet-style choice of what laws to enforce or enact? Or are these sheriffs doing exactly what they should? Sound off below.