Over the past few days, the Turner Report has featured state legislators who insist they will not follow any new federal gun laws or regulations and they even want to make it a criminal act to try to enforce any such law. The lawmakers, however, are not the only ones who are going ballistic, so to speak. A number of Missouri sheriffs, who are elected to enforce the law, have said they will not do so when it comes to gun laws they do not like.
Below is a letter from Johnson County Sheriff Charles M. Heiss to President Barack Obama, which other sheriffs have signed onto, or sent slightly reworded versions to the president. This post also includes the viewpoints of Lawrence, Barry, Nodaway and Laclede County sheriffs, all of whom indicate they agree with Heiss' viewpoint, and a video of Heiss talking about his opposition to any proposed gun laws.
January 16, 2013
The Honorable Barak Obama
President, United States of America
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue
Dear Mr. President,
My name is Charles M. Heiss and I am the Sheriff of Johnson County, Missouri. I have held this office since January 1, 1997. I am writing to you to express my concern with the tone of your administration with respect to the Second Amendment Rights of American citizens. It appears to me and many Americans that there is a genuine desire on the part of your administration to restrict the Second Amendment rights of law abiding American citizens in the interest of curbing gun violence in our nation.
Throughout our nations history the United States Constitution and the Bill of Rights has served as the very foundation of our free society. The Second Amendment to the United States Constitution has long guaranteed our citizens the right to keep and bear arms and is central to our ability to live in a free society. Any attempt to restrict these Second Amendment rights through executive order is unconstitutional and tantamount to an all out assault on the United States Constitution. Just as the Fourth Amendment to the constitution guarantees our citizens the right to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects against unreasonable search and seizure, the Second Amendment guarantees each of us the right to keep and bear arms to protect ourselves from anyone who would seek to cause us harm. This includes the federal Government.
World history has shown us that when a society does not possess the ability to defend itself it becomes ripe for victimization by criminals, and ripe for government oppression. One need not look too far in today’s world to see glaring examples of defenseless people being brutalized by rogue regimes and dictators. Syria, North Korea, and Mali are just a few examples of this type of oppression.Mexico is a stark reminder of a society overrun with criminal element in the form of Drug Cartels.
As the duly elected Sheriff of Johnson County, Missouri, it is my sworn duty to protect and defend the Constitutions of theUnited States of America, and the State of Missouri against all enemies both foreign and domestic. This means I not only have the duty to protect my constituents from incidents of crime, but I also have a duty and responsibility to protect and preserve the individual rights and liberties afforded and guaranteed to every citizen by our constitutions. This, Mr. President is a duty I fully understand, appreciate, and will carry out with great vigor and conviction. I will most certainly urge my fellow Sheriffs in the State of Missouriand across this great nation to rise to the defense and aid of all Americans should the federal government attempt to enact any legislation, or executive order that impedes, erodes, or otherwise diminishes their constitutional right to keep and bear arms. I will use all means legal to meet this solemn and sacred responsibility.
Charles M. Heiss
Sheriff Johnson County,Missouri.
(From KMA Broadcasting)
(Sheriff Darren) White accuses the president of preying on people's emotions in the aftermath of last month's shooting. He also says Obama is misusing terms like "assault weapons" and "military weapons." For example, White says an AR-15, used in one high-profile school shooting, is a civilian, semiautomatic rifle no different than other weapons available to the public.
"It doesn't matter if you have a magazine that holds 10 rounds or 100 rounds, it's not going to change the mindset of the people that choose to commit these crimes," said White.
(Sheriff Brad Delay) sent the letter to stress the importance of the Second Amendment and express his duty to protect the Constitution."This is the path everybody has been going down and we want you to understood this is what we'll do if it comes to that," he says.The letter was originally written by sheriff Charles Heiss in Johnson County and was sent out to the other sheriffs across the state."A lot of us now have copied and pasted basically but changed a few things that have to do with us particularly.
(From Monett Times)
Barry County Sheriff Mick Epperly has yet to sign the letter, but said he would sign and send it after a little further review."We need to look into it a little more," he said. "There is a lot of good intent in the letter to uphold the Constitution."Epperly believes in upholding the Second Amendment despite federal attempts at regulation."I will uphold the Constitution and protect people's right to bear arms and protect themselves," Epperly said. "If it comes down to trying to collect guns, I'm not going to be a part of it."
(From Lebanon Daily Record)
“We’re going to protect our citizens’ rights and honor the Second Amendment,” (Sheriff Wayne) Merritt said.While he believes bans on assault-type weapons and limits on clip sizes, which were proposed by Obama on Wednesday, are largely ineffective, he “didn’t have a problem” with those type of actions by the federal government. But when the federal government starts talking about gun control, it’s a different story.“We’re not going to honor that, even under federal law,” Merritt said.