W.VA. Sheriffs Defy Efforts on New Gun Laws

Thursday, 31 Jan 2013 01:58 PM

By Sandy Fitzgerald

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Some county sheriffs in West Virginia, where pro-gun sentiments run high, are declaring that they won't enforce any new gun-control laws they believe could violate the Second Amendment.

According to The Charleston Daily Mail, some local sheriffs have been laying out their views on new gun-control efforts in letters to various newspapers. But one put his concerns about efforts to pass new laws in the wake of the Newtown, Conn., school shootings in a letter to President Barack Obama.

"It is with all due respect," wrote Boone County Sheriff Randall White,"I wish to inform you that so long as I am sheriff of this county, I will not, nor shall I ever support any alterations to the Constitution of the United States or any of its amendments, specifically the right to bear arms."

He added that he believes the government's efforts would be better spent "punishing the few citizens who commit crimes involving firearms rather than trying to come up with new laws.”

In addition, Raleigh County Sheriff Steve Tanner told The Daily Mail he has no plans to enforce any new gun laws, saying, "It's incredibly stupid for anyone to assume that society has become so advanced you no longer have the need or the responsibility to protect yourself or your family.”

Hardy County Sheriff Brian Ward agreed, telling the newspaper, "We all swore the same oath to uphold the Constitution of the United States and uphold the constitution of West Virginia. The sheriffs don't legislate. I will not enforce any unconstitutional law.”

Ward, who has a life membership in the National Rifle Association, said he advocates responsible conceal-carry laws, and he blamed what the Daily Mail called "moral decline, not guns . . . for the recent rash of mass shootings."
The West Virginia Sheriffs Association, meanwhile, said it supports the right of its members to speak out about their views but has no official position on gun-control issues.



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