NATIONAL (BTSNews) Jan. 17, 2013 -- “The federal authorities can try to enforce it,” said Alabama Sheriff Blake Dorning, opposing President Obama's proposed gun control laws. “I’m the Sheriff of Madison County. I took a constitutional oath to defend the Constitution of the United States of America, to defend the Constitution of the State of Alabama, even if it takes my life. That is my position.”
In an expanding wave of opposition to President Obama's proposed gun laws, sheriffs across the country have stated publicly and in writing that they will not enforce any federal gun control legislation that they deem unconstitutional. Local lawmakers have proposed bills making enforcement of the federal gun laws a state crime.
Mississippi: Republican Gov. Phil Bryant urged the Legislature to criminalize the enforcement of any Presidential Executive Orders that violate the Constitution.
Kentucky: Jackson County Sheriff Denny Peyman, said in a videotaped press conference, "They'll never pull guns from Jackson Co." When stating he will not enforce "unconstitutional" federal gun laws, the sheriff said, "Kentucky is a sovereign state. The federal government is coming in and saying, 'This is what you're going to do.' We're not going to do it."
Oregon: Josephine County Sheriff Gil Gilbertson, Crook County Sheriff Jim Hensley, Coos County Sheriff Craig Zanni, and Linn County Sheriff Tim Mueller state their opposition to new federal gun control laws and vow they will not enforce federal laws they deem to violate the Second Amendment. Douglas County Sheriff John Hanlin also sent a letter to the Vice President saying that he “will refuse to participate in, nor tolerate enforcement actions against citizens that are deemed unconstitutional.”
Minnesota: Pine County Sheriff Robin Cole, saying he would refuse to enforce any federal laws he felt violated Second Amendment rights, sent an open letter to county residents stating he did not believe the federal government could to tell states how to regulate firearms.
Alabama: Madison County Sheriff Blake Dorning stated that his office will not enforce new federal gun control laws if he deems those laws violate the Second Amendment.
Tennessee: Republican state Rep. Joe Carr is considering a bill to make it a state crime for federal agents to enforce any ban on firearms or ammunition.
Wyoming: The legislature is considering a bill making unenforceable any federal limitation on guns. The bill also makes it a state felony for federal agents to enforce or attempt to enforce new federal gun restrictions -- meaning that State police could conceivable arrest Federal AFT agents, among others.
Utah: Republicans lawmakers are preparing a bill that would exempt the state from federal gun laws and impose a fine any federal agents who try to enforce new federal firearm regulations.
Alaska: Lawmakers are considering a bill that would make it a misdemeanor for federal agents to enforce new federal restrictions on gun ownership.
Florida: Martin County Sheriff Bill Snyder, rejecting federal authority over local gun regulations, stated that any federal gun control legislation "will not matter."
Texas: Smith County Sheriff Larry Smith said he will not enforce an unconstitutional law that takes away firearms from law abiding citizens in his county.
Finally, Richard Mack, founder of The Constitutional Sheriffs and Peace Officers Association, in stating his opposition to the proposed gun laws, said “Now we have good sheriffs who are standing up and defending the law against our own president.”
Some analysts and legal commentators, however, opine that a local "legislature can pass anything it wants. The Supremacy Clause of the Constitution makes that clearly unconstitutional. Where there's a conflict between state and federal law, the federal government is supreme." Legal experts said local refusal to enforce, or even criminalize the enforcement of, President Obama's gun control proposals is similar to Confederate states' refusal to comply with federal law extending equal rights for blacks after the Civil War.
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