[Updates being added to the bottom of the post as more Sheriffs step forward and speak out.]
Via The National Sheriffs Organization:
The Office of Sheriff is not a department of county government, it is the independent office through which the Sheriff exercises the powers of the public trust. No individual or small group hires or fires the Sheriff, or has the authority to interfere with the operations of the office. Elected sheriffs are accountable directly to the constitution of their state, the United States Constitution, statutes, and the citizens of their county....
Yesterday I posted letters from the Utah Sheriffs Association and two Missouri Sheriffs to Obama making it clear they would fight to defend their citizens Second Amendment right to bear arms.
Previously Sheriffs from Kentucky, Oregon , Colorado and Alabama have already issued their own letters or spoken out publicly saying they would not enforce or allow and new gun regulations to be enforced in their counties.
Yesterday, via a press conference, the New Mexico Sheriffs Association said that 29 NM Sheriffs stand "behind the right to bear arms."
Via Daily Times:
The association wanted to take an early stance on gun control "just to get ahead of this thing and say We are going to honor our oath and our oath says we will uphold and honor the Constitution,'" said San Juan County Sheriff Ken Christesen, chairman of the sheriffs association.
He said in the wake of the recent public shootings he's fielded questions from San Juan County residents concerned their gun rights might be threatened.
Christesen said existing gun laws provide all the oversight needed to control guns and ammunition. More regulations, such as limiting the amount of bullets in a magazine, are a waste of resources and won't decrease gun violence, he said.
"We've always had gun crimes in San Juan County. It doesn't matter if it was a single-shot shot gun, an AK-47 or a lever action 30-30. People are still going to do what they do," he said. "But at least guns give you a chance to protect yourself.
"I don't think we need to change anything with guns. Especially when it comes to taking away people's rights."
Christesen said the best way to respond to the recent shootings is to use existing laws to keep guns away from convicted felons and mentally ill people.
"It's not a gun problem it's a criminal problem," he said.
Other Sheriffs speaking out:
Coos Country Oregon Sheriffs Craig Zanni released a letter (PDF) to his citizens telling them he would protect their Second Amendment rights.
Pine County Minnesota Sheriff Robin Cole wrote a letter to his citizens as well, saying he would consider any new federal regulation on guns to be illegal and would “refuse to carry it out.”
"We will not enforce that."
Madison County Alabama Sheriff Blake Dorning told WHNT News 19 that his office will not enforce new gun control legislation if he feels those laws violate the Second Amendment. Dorning said he has serious doubts about President Obama’s latest proposals, stating that any gun laws which do pass would have to be in line with the U.S. Constitution and Alabama state law in order to be enforceable.
“The federal authorities can try to enforce it. 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.”
Smith County Texas Sheriff Larry Smith says he will not enforce an unconstitutional law that takes away firearms from law abiding citizens in Smith County.
"I will not enforce an unconstitutional law against any citizen in Smith County. It just won't happen."
Josephine County, Oregon Sheriff Gil Gilbertson, said in a letter to Biden: (Full letter here)
"As such, any rule, regulation, or executive order repugnant to the constitutional rights of the citizens of this County will be ignored by this Office, nor will this office, or the citizens, allow enforcement of unconstitutional activities by federal officers.
We refuse to participate, or allow our law-abiding citizens to be criminalized through constitutionally repugnant actions by misguided intentions or politicians."
Yavapai County, Arizona, Sheriff Scott Mascher:
I have received many questions and concerns from our public and YCSO staff about recent gun control issues.
As your Sheriff, I have taken an oath of office to support and uphold the Constitution of the United States, and to protect the people of Yavapai County. I take this oath seriously.
Now we have politicians that want to prevent millions of law abiding, honest Americans from owning certain firearms and magazines because of the mentally ill and violent criminal offenders.
I do not believe that extreme acts of violent criminal behavior should ever misguide a politician into enacting orders or laws that would take away Constitutional Rights and Liberties from law-abiding Americans.
As Sheriff, I refuse to participate or cooperate with any unconstitutional order that will infringe upon our 2nd amendment rights.
These Sheriffs are elected officials who take their oath to protect their citizens very seriously and are vowing, by press conference, letters to citizens, and/or letters to the Obama administration, to do just that by protecting the citizens from Obama's gun grabbing agenda.
McLennan County Sheriff Parnell McNamara told Austin TV station KTBC Fox 7 News in an interview Wednesday that he will not uphold new federal laws that restrict access to guns or ammunition.
“I will not uphold those federal laws that I think infringe on our god-given rights,” McNamara said in a videotaped interview.
"We have the right to possess fire arms in our country. We have the right to protect ourselves and if it takes a 30- or 40- or 50-round magazine to do it and an assault rifle then I think people have the right to do it," said McNamara. (Source)
[Update] Walton County Sheriff Michael Adkinson has received several questions in regards to second amendment issues. This is the sheriff's statement on the topic.
"As Sheriff of Walton County, I am charged to act as the Chief Law Enforcement Officer of the county. The authority of this office is not subject to the submission of any other state or federal law enforcement agencies. I as Sheriff of Walton County will support, protect, and defend the liberties and rights of the people of Walton County. In regard specifically to the second amendment, neither I nor my deputies will support any attempt to circumvent the constitution of the United States by executive order or unlawful legislation."
[Update] The following is from the Facebook page of Edgar county Sheriff Edward Motley:
I, Edward B. Motley having been elected to the office of County Sheriff in the County of Edgar aforesaid, DO SOLEMNLY SWEAR, that I will support the Constitution of the United States and the Constitution of the State of Illinois, and that I will faithfully discharge the duties of the office of Edgar County Sheriff to the best of my ability.
Why is it that there are politicians who want to prevent law abiding citizens from protecting themselves or their families against threats of violence? Why are we not holding those accountable for the evil they do with the same vigor they go after gun right advocates?
The Second Amendment reads: “A well-regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a Free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.” These words have generated much controversy as part of the debate over gun control. Supporters of stricter controls generally argue that the amendment was only meant to protect the combined rights of states in maintaining a militia. Their opponents counter that the amendment was intended to protect an individual right to protect their life and their family.
On June 26, 2008 the United States Supreme Court issued an opinion in the case of District of Columbia et al. v. Heller. In that decision, the Court's majority stated "Putting all of these textual elements together, we find that they guarantee the individual right to possess and carry weapons in case of confrontation." Citizens shouldn't have to carry guns to protect themselves. However, criminals don’t follow rules or abide by the law when it comes to carrying a firearm in their commission of a felony or threatening your life.
“The Sheriff is the ultimate law enforcement authority in his county and in this country. He is not a bureaucrat and does not answer to one. He answers to his boss, the citizens. The Sheriff is the employee of the people and exists to serve and protect them in all matters.”
As Sheriff and an Illinois gun owner, I still support the concealment and carrying of legal firearms and will not enforce any Executive Order or law that is unconstitutional regarding legal firearms.
[Update] Collin sheriff won't enforce laws that violate 'right to keep and bear arms'
Collin County Sheriff Terry Box fired off a cyber salvo across his Facebook page over the weekend vowing not to enforce any potential federal laws that he feels may undermine the Constitutional right to bear arms.
"Unfortunately, the recent surge in the numbers of innocent victims who have died at the hands of unstable criminals has prompted politicians in Washington to seek to pass laws that would seriously erode the constitutional rights of innocent and law abiding citizens," Box said in the post.
He also adds that he will not recognize any "unconstitutional mandate" that infringes upon the right to bear arms. Box said requiring residents to register their weapons, taking specific guns away or limiting how much ammunition someone can buy would be a government overreach that he refuses to support.