As state governments and federal lawmakers who take their oath of office seriously work to stop the Obama administration’s proposed unconstitutional infringements on the right to keep and bear arms, a wave of county sheriffs all across the country is rising up to protect gun rights, too. Dozens of chief law enforcement officers have already pledged not to enforce new gun control, and many have even promised to actively prevent the enforcement of unconstitutional federal statutes within their jurisdictions.
Elected sheriffs, as the top law enforcement officers within their counties, work for the citizens and taxpayers in their jurisdictions, not the federal government. Even the Supreme Court ruled that sheriffs cannot be compelled to follow federal dictates or mandates in a landmark case on gun control. Now, with Obama pushing hard for new restrictions on gun rights — finding strong support from some anti-Second Amendment Democrats in Congress and much of the increasingly discredited establishment media — sheriffs nationwide are putting their foot down to defend the rights of their constituents.
Chief law enforcement officers from Kentucky, Oregon, Texas, California, Missouri, Idaho, Alabama, Colorado, South Carolina, Georgia, Minnesota, Florida, Nevada, Arizona, Ohio, New York, Utah, Oklahoma, and other states have all spoken out already — many of them in unison. It seems that virtually every single day, more sheriffs are adding their voices to the expanding list of prominent lawmen who have vowed to ensure that the U.S. Constitution is respected in their jurisdictions.
“I am ecstatic about the growing number of sheriffs around the country vowing to defend the Second Amendment against Obama's unlawful gun control efforts,” said former Arizona Sheriff Richard Mack, a decorated lawman who sued the federal government over gun control and won before going on to found the widely respected Constitutional Sheriffs and Peace Officers Association (CSPOA). “As the groundswell continues, we expect more and more sheriffs to come out of the woodwork and join our coalition against tyranny!”
Before Obama had even gathered a group of children together to exploit as propaganda props while unveiling his anti-gun rights machinations publicly — the plan calls for a ban on semi-automatic weapons and standard capacity magazines, “universal” background checks that critics say will lead to gun registration, and much more — resistance was beginning to manifest itself. Citizens in particular were expressing alarm and speaking out.
Soon, state lawmakers began introducing legislation to protect gun rights in their jurisdictions and even put federal officials who attempt to enforce unconstitutional restrictions in prison — in some cases for four or five years. Sheriffs nationwide, meanwhile, began assuring their constituents that gun rights would be safe, at least in their own counties, and that they would protect the people from federal assaults on the Second Amendment.
“Anytime that they come against the Second Amendment, or try to say ‘we’re going to do this or we’re going to do that,’ well we here are not going to comply with that,” Jackson County, Kentucky, Sheriff Denny Peyman told The New American after becoming a virtual celebrity when he promised residents that he would defend their rights. “It goes back to us being a sovereign state, it goes back to the way our system is set up — with myself being the chief law-enforcement officer here — federal agents will not be allowed to come in here and do that.”
Soon, the number of sheriffs promising to resist Obama’s schemes swelled. There are so many now that it is hard to keep track. Some lawmen even sent their views straight to the White House, saying in letters that they would refuse to enforce any new unconstitutional infringements or to allow those restrictions to be enforced in their counties. In a letter addressed to Vice President Joe Biden, who led the administration’s “task force” on restricting gun rights, Linn County, Oregon, Sheriff Tim Mueller led the way.
"We are Americans. We must not allow, nor shall we tolerate, the actions of criminals, no matter how heinous the crimes, to prompt politicians to enact laws that will infringe upon the liberties of responsible citizens who have broken no laws," Sheriff Mueller wrote in the January 14 letter, which became an instant sensation. “Any federal regulation enacted by Congress or by executive order of the president offending the constitutional rights of my citizens shall not be enforced by me or by my deputies, nor will I permit the enforcement of any unconstitutional regulations or orders by federal officers within the borders of Linn County.”
Sheriff Mueller concluded his powerful letter, which garnered media attention nationwide even among the anti-Second Amendment establishment press, with a brief summary: “It is the position of this Sheriff that I refuse to participate, or stand idly by, while my citizens are turned into criminals due to the unconstitutional actions of misguided politicians.” Soon, numerous other sheriffs in Oregon sent similar letters to the administration as the tsunami of opposition to Obama’s gun control schemes was becoming more vocal.
In Utah, for example, every sheriff in the state with just one exception signed a similar letter sent by the state sheriffs’ association. "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," 28 out of 29 county sheriffs in Utah told the White House in a letter. "As professional peace officers, if we understand nothing else, we understand this: lawful violence must sometimes be employed to deter and stop criminal violence." Lawmen in Utah say support for their stand has come from all across America.
From coast to coast, at least 60 sheriffs have now publicly gone on record promising to defend the rights of citizens. Some have addressed their constituents in meetings or letters. Others have spoken publicly in the press, slamming Washington, D.C., for even considering further infringements on the right to keep and bear arms. Hundreds of others — probably more — have also pledged to protect their constituents from a lawless federal government that appears to recognize no limits on its power, according to Sheriff Mack.
Some analysts, citing the increasing federalization of local law enforcement through “grant” funding with strings attached and other lawless schemes, have expressed doubts about whether or not the quickly growing roster of county sheriffs vowing to resist would actually interpose on behalf of their constituents. Critics point out, among other concerns, that some of the chief law enforcers pledging resistance already participate in the enforcement of unconstitutional federal decrees. Still, across America, citizens and prominent activists have expressed gratitude and support for those sheriffs promising to defend gun rights.
“The county sheriffs need to act and make new deputies to stop federal authority in the counties,” explained Gun Owners of America chief Larry Pratt, known as an uncompromising defender of the Second Amendment and the rights it guarantees. “This is a defensible idea. He can deputize people to serve since they are the ones who voted for him to represent them. A lot of citizens would stand up for their Second Amendment rights if they were protected by the sheriff.”
At the state level, at least a dozen states are already considering nullification legislation that would lawfully void any new infringements on gun rights out of Washington. Many of those bills actually have teeth, too, potentially setting up a showdown between states and the federal government. Even at the local level, though, officials and lawmen nationwide are pushing for nullification as the proper remedy to rein in an out-of-control central government.
“Hopefully this will spread like fire throughout the country, and the people will stand up and say, you know what, enough is enough, and under the Tenth Amendment, which grants the power of nullification of unconstitutional laws, we're going to recognize this as unconstitutional, we're not going to enforce it, we're going to make sure this doesn't happen," Gilberton Borough, Pennsylvania, Police Chief Mark Kessler told The New American after encouraging local officials to nullify further infringements with the “Second Amendment Preservation Ordinance.”
Law enforcement personnel who support the Constitution are asking concerned Americans to reach out to their sheriffs and police chiefs to find out where they stand on the unalienable right to keep and bear arms. If they support the Second Amendment, gun rights activists say citizens should work hard to support them. On the other hand, if they support more infringements, constitutional sheriffs and gun rights groups are urging Americans to educate them, and if that fails, to make sure they are looking for another job after the next election. Critics say Obama and his allies eventually hope to disarm the American people. Only firm but lawful resistance, they argue, will put a stop to the scheme.
Alex Newman is a correspondent for The New American, covering economics, politics, and more. He can be reached at
Kentucky Sheriff Vows to Protect Residents from Obama Gun Control