Tuesday, 05 February 2013

Liberty Coalition Forms to Support Sheriffs Fighting Gun Control

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A new coalition of law-enforcement officials and liberty-minded organizations led by former Arizona Sheriff Richard Mack is joining forces to defend freedom, with goals that include supporting the hundreds of constitutional sheriffs across America who promise to defend the rights of their constituents from the Obama administration’s lawless assault on the Constitution. As one of its primary projects, the alliance is sending letters to every sheriff in the United States to find out and publicize where they stand on the Second Amendment.

Another key aim of the coalition is to recruit more chief law-enforcement officers — particularly sheriffs, but state and local officials as well — to defend Americans’ unalienable gun rights. As of early February, close to 300 county sheriffs from all over the country and at least six state sheriff associations had publicly announced their intentions to protect the Second Amendment in their respective jurisdictions. The numbers are growing daily; and members and leaders of the new coalition hope to keep that trend accelerating.  

“The purpose of this coalition is to simply show the recipients of the letter, our nation's sheriffs, that there are many groups sponsoring this movement and many people wanting information from their sheriffs regarding their commitment to the Constitution,” explained Sheriff Mack, who helped win a major victory in the Supreme Court against unconstitutional federal gun control and statutes purporting to force sheriffs to comply with federal demands. He also founded the Constitutional Sheriffs and Peace Officers Association (CSPOA), which is helping organize and lead the new coalition.

Organizations that have already publicly joined the alliance include CSPOA, Oath Keepers, We The People, Gun Owners of America (GOA), numerous Tea Party groups, Restore The Republic, Liberty Round Table, The Power Hour, Front Sight Firearms Institute, the Tenth Amendment Center, The John Birch Society (JBS), and many more. All of the groups will be using their influence to educate Americans and their elected officials, particularly sheriffs, on constitutional principles and ways to lawfully resist unconstitutional usurpations of power by federal authorities.  

“The way I figured it was, if one group did this all alone, then the sheriff might easily dismiss the survey as unimportant,” Sheriff Mack told The New American about his decision to bring so many groups together for the effort. “However, if many national organizations were to be a part of this letter to the sheriffs, then they will have to know that it is very likely that many of their constituents support this correspondence and thus, as the sheriffs' employers, expect his sincere participation.”

According to Mack, his organization has been “flooded” with requests from concerned Americans asking whether or not their elected county sheriff supports the Constitution and the Second Amendment — as they are sworn to do upon taking office. That is why he decided, along with his many allies, to send out a simple questionnaire to the nation’s sheriffs to find out where they stand, and then to publish the results online for all to see.

“This is still America and the people are, and have right to be, free and protected from the overreach of vapid politicians,” reads the cover letter sent to all sheriffs along with the coalition’s questionnaire. “As the people's ultimate Protector, will you now stand with your colleagues who have reaffirmed their oaths to ‘protect, defend, and preserve the United States Constitution’ and the Constitution of the State wherein you serve? This is the time to stand and be counted.”

The letter, signed “Liberty Group Coalition and People of America,” explains to the nation’s chief law-enforcement officers that their response to the questionnaire — or lack thereof — will be published and closely scrutinized by their constituents. Sheriffs who may try to “stand on the fence,” as the letter puts it, will receive the lowest rating. The alliance of liberty-minded organizations and its supporters will then work with local citizens, who are widely expected to help oust officials that do not take their oaths of office seriously and to support as much as possible those who do.  

“Most of these groups have been working together for the past several years on issues of mutual concern. Most of those issues can be boiled down to one basic ideal: God-given American Liberty,” Sheriff Mack said in an interview with TNA. “All Americans should get involved in this process. The sheriff works for you.”

As Mack and other sheriffs had confirmed in their landmark victory at the Supreme Court — originally known as Mack v. United States but later restyled to Printz v. United States — county sheriffs are the chief law-enforcement officers in their jurisdictions, with more authority than even federal agents. As such, sheriffs work for their constituents and must comply with their oath to defend the U.S. and state constitutions, not do the bidding of out-of-control politicians in Washington who apparently recognize no limits on their power.

Since that historic victory, hundreds, perhaps thousands, of sheriffs have awakened to their true responsibilities as guardians of their constituents’ rights. And as Obama and certain extremist Democrats in Congress plot further unconstitutional infringements on the right to keep and bear arms, America’s chief law-enforcement officers in virtually every state are rising en masse, publicly vowing to defend the rights of the citizens in their counties regardless of any unconstitutional statutes or so-called “executive orders” emanating from Washington. In Utah, for example, every sheriff but one vowed to give his life in defense of the Second Amendment. 

“We now have hundreds of sheriffs standing for the Second Amendment and against the onslaught of gun control,” Sheriff Mack explained, pointing to a preliminary list compiled on CSPOA’s website of the hundreds of sheriffs and half-dozen state sheriff associations that have spoken out publicly. “In America, gun control is against the law! Who better to remind us all of that than our nation's lawmen?”

The questionnaire sent to sheriffs starts off by explaining that the individual right to keep and bear arms, enshrined in the Second Amendment and virtually every state constitution, comes from God — it is unalienable and precedes the nation’s founding and all government institutions. Citing the Founding Fathers, the document goes on to explain the true reason for gun rights: They're a last resort to defend the people from tyranny, as some two-thirds of surveyed Americans, including most Democrats, already recognize. 

"The way I look at it, they’re trying to come in the back door and trying to soften the Second Amendment,” Jackson County, Kentucky, Sheriff Denny Peyman, one of the first to speak out publicly, told The New American in an interview last month. “Obviously that's a good way to do that — it has worked for years, that's how they got the Constitution in the shape that it's in. But that’s not what was intended; the Second Amendment is intended to protect the people from the government — for this particular thing.”

In Peyman’s county, however, the Constitution will be upheld, regardless of what the Obama administration or the federal government decrees. “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,” Sheriff Peyman explained. “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.” 

The powerful Gun Owners of America, a member of the new coalition widely recognized as the fiercest and most uncompromising pro-Second Amendment organization in the nation, agrees with Mack, Peyman, and the hundreds of other sheriffs who have spoken out. “The county sheriffs need to act and make new deputies to stop federal authority in the counties,” GOA chief Larry Pratt explained recently. “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.”

The John Birch Society, the parent organization of this magazine, has also joined the new coalition. The liberty-minded organization has been working to educate the American people for over five decades and has active chapters and field staff all across the country. Some of its most well-known projects include the effort to get the United States out of the United Nations and the famous campaign to “support your local police” and keep them independent of federal power. 

“We are happy to join this coalition which has already demonstrated that there is a layer of strength for the Constitution among the sheriffs of our country and we believe that this work will only enhance and broaden this support,” JBS CEO Art Thompson told The New American. “Since the elected sheriffs are the main line of defense by local government in every county, it is important that we do all that we can to shore up their understanding and support of constitutional principles.”

Thompson expects the coalition to have a powerful impact. “It may well mean that if there are enough sheriffs willing to take a stand against unconstitutional gun controls over the citizens by the federal government that the feds will back down from their plans,” he added. “By all indications, these plans include total gun control and then confiscation. We cannot allow this to happen.”

Another well-known and respected organization that has joined the alliance is known as the Oath Keepers. Essentially, the organization is composed of law-enforcement and military personnel who vow to obey their solemn oath to the Constitution, even if it means disobeying unconstitutional orders from their superiors. One example of lawless orders that would not be obeyed, often cited by leaders and members of the group, would be a federal effort to disarm the American people.

The Tenth Amendment Center, which has surged to prominence in recent years as activists from all across the political spectrum fight to defy unconstitutional federal usurpations, is also joining the alliance. While its primary focus is on state-level nullification of unconstitutional statutes, the organization strongly supports local efforts to protect the unalienable rights of citizens from lawless government as well.

As the Obama administration and its increasingly discredited allies in the establishment media continue to push for more lawless infringements on gun rights, it appears as though they have awakened a sleeping giant. Republicans, Democrats, Libertarians, and Americans of all political persuasions are increasingly banding together to fight back against Washington’s growing tendency to seek unconstitutional restrictions on the rights of the people.

The president and most members of Congress may not respect their oath of office, but it has become clear that at the state and local level, at least, the Constitution and the spirit of liberty live on. Leaders of this new coalition who spoke to The New American, meanwhile, expect the number of sheriffs standing firm for the Constitution and their constituents to continue swelling.      

Alex Newman is a correspondent for The New American, covering economics, politics, and more. He can be reached at

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