White House to Sheriffs: Follow Law in Enforcing Gun Control Measures

Fred Lucas | March 26, 2013 | 4:05pm EDT
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White House Press Secretary Jay Carney (AP)

(CNSNews.com) – President Barack Obama’s gun control measures reflect his commitment to the Second Amendment, White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said Tuesday, adding that local law enforcement should enforce any measures passed at the federal level.

The Constitutional Sheriffs and Peace Officers Association (CSPOA) has the support of 381 sheriffs and the cooperation of 15 state sheriff associations asserting they would not enforce federal or state gun laws they consider unconstitutional.

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The list posted on the CSPOA website included sheriffs and associations from states that traditionally support Democrats, including Obama’s home state, the Illinois Sheriffs Association.

CNSNews.com asked, “There have been 381 sheriffs that have signed on saying they would not enforce gun laws they believed were unconstitutional. Would the administration have a problem if local law enforcement did not enforce whatever gun package were to pass?”

Carney responded that he had not seen the list of sheriffs.

“I think as a general proposition we think that people ought to follow the law,” Carney told CNSNews.com. “As an absolute matter of fact in my view, and I think many other constitutional experts, there’s not a single measure in this package of proposals the president has put forward that in anyway violates the Constitution. In fact, they reflect the president’s commitment to our Second Amendment rights.”

The Democrat-controlled Senate is considering several anti-gun proposal put forward by Obama that include universal background checks, new gun show regulations and a ban on certain automatic weapons.

CSPOA founder Richard Mack was not surprised by Carney’s response.

“Politicians who violate the Constitution never say I’m violating the Constitution, come and arrest me,” Mack told CNSNews.com Tuesday.

Mack is the former sheriff of Graham County, Ariz., where along with six other sheriffs in 1994 he challenged the constitutionality of the provision of the federal Brady bill that sheriffs do the background checks. The Supreme Court ruled 5-4 to strike down the provision of the law placing the burden on local law enforcement.

Mack, who has previously won the NRA Law Officer of the Year, was inducted into the NRA Hall of Fame, and won the Gun Owners of America Defender of the Second Amendment Award, also contested Carney’s point that “people ought to follow the law.” Mack said that’s not true if the law contradicts the Bill of Rights.

“When Rosa Parks didn’t give up her seat on the bus, should she have been arrested or should the police have escorted her home?” Mack said. “The law was to arrest her. It was a stupid, unconstitutional law.”

Mack called Obama and New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, who recently signed gun control measures into law, “criminals because they are going against the law.”

He said counting the sheriffs who are members of the state association, the number of sheriffs vowing not to enforce unconstitutional laws exceeds 500.

“Every one of the sheriffs is going to follow the Constitution, not follow the president or the Supreme Court,” Mack said. “The Supreme Court has already ruled twice for the Second Amendment. The federal government has no right to tell me how many magazines I can have, how many guns I can have and how much ammunition I can have.”

The state organizations that are part of the CSPOA effort are the California Sheriffs Association, Colorado Sheriffs Association, Florida Sheriffs Association, Georgia Sheriffs Association, Illinois Sheriffs Association, Indiana Sheriffs Association, Kentucky Sheriffs Association, Missouri Sheriffs Association, Montana Sheriffs and Peace Officers Association, Nebraska Sheriffs Association, New Mexico Sheriffs Association, Oklahoma Sheriffs Association, South Carolina Sheriffs Association, Wyoming Sheriffs Association and Utah Sheriffs Association.

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