ST. GEORGE – Adding their collective voice to the mounting gun control debate, the Utah Sheriff’s Association sent an open letter to President Barack Obama. stating they would defend the Second Amendment and enforce the rights of the citizenry to bear arms. The letter goes as far as to state: “No federal official will be permitted to descend upon our constituents and take from them what the Bill of Rights – in particular Amendment II – has given them.”
The sentiment is echoed by county sheriffs in various parts of the country.
As reported by KLTV in Texas, Sheriff Larry Smith, of Smith County, Texas, said he wouldn’t enforce gun laws he considered unconstitutional.
“I will not enforce an unconstitutional law against any citizen in Smith County,” Smith said. “It just won’t happen.”
In Idaho, as reported by KTVB, Keiran Donahue, Canyon County Sheriff, said: “… Gun ownership is not a political issue; it is a constitutional right … I swore an oath to uphold the Constitution, enforce the law, and protect my community, and that’s what I’ll do.”
In Missouri, Sheriff Steve Cox, Livingston County Sheriff, told StJoeChannel.com he sent his own letter to the president in which he stated, “I personally and professionally believe there are many other useful ways to better help in educating and protecting our population than by dismantling the Constitution.”
The letter from the Utah Sheriff’s Association joins countless others in the debate for and against gun control that continues to mount at the doorsteps of Congress and 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.
The following is the letter in its entirety:
7 January 2013
The Honorable Barack Obama
President of the United States of America
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20500
Dear President Obama:
We, the elected sheriffs of Utah, like so many of our fellow Americans, are literally
heartbroken for the loved ones of the murdered victims in Connecticut. As Utahans, we are
not strangers to this kind of carnage – one of the latest being the 2007 Trolley Square murders
wherein nine innocents were gunned down – five losing their lives.
We also recognize the scores of other recent domestic massacres, which have decimated
countless honorable lives. As Americans, we value the sanctity of life. Furthermore, similar to
our inspired Founders, we acknowledge our subservience to a higher power.
With the number of mass shootings America has endured, it is easy to demonize firearms; it is
also foolish and prejudiced. Firearms are nothing more than instruments, valuable and
potentially dangerous, but instruments nonetheless. Malevolent souls, like the criminals who
commit mass murders, will always exploit valuable instruments in the pursuit of evil. As
professional peace officers, if we understand nothing else, we understand this: lawful violence
must sometimes be employed to deter and stop criminal violence. Consequently, the citizenry
must continue its ability to keep and bear arms, including arms that adequately protect them
from all types of illegality.
As your administration and Congress continue to grapple with the complex issue of firearm
regulations, we pray that the Almighty will guide the People’s Representatives collectively.
For that reason, it is imperative this discussion be had in Congress, not silenced unilaterally
by executive orders. As you deliberate, please remember the Founders of this great nation
created the Constitution, and its accompanying Bill of Rights, in an effort to protect citizens
from all forms of tyrannical subjugation.
We respect the Office of the President of the United States of America. But, make no mistake,
as the duly-elected sheriffs of our respective counties, we will enforce the rights guaranteed to
our citizens by the Constitution. No federal official will be permitted to descend upon our
constituents and take from them what the Bill of Rights-in particular Amendment II-has
given them. 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
The Utah Sheriffs’ Association
PDF of the letter with the names of the endorsing county sheriffs. Absent from the list of sheriffs is Salt Lake County Sheriff Jim Winder.
The letter can also be found on the Washington County Sheriff’s website.