Monday, May 6, 2013

Nation's sheriffs state Second Amendment position

It appears the nation's sheriffs have waded ever-so-carefully into the murky waters of gun control.

Yet while some pro-Second Amendment supporters might like the sheriffs be more forceful in stating their backing of gun-owner rights, those seeking further restrictions on firearms will be even more disappointed in the lawmens' declaration that backs the Second Amendment.

The views of the National Sheriff's Association regarding this hot-button issue are found linked with the web site of Lake County (Ohio) Sheriff Dan Dunlap at

Here, Sheriff Dunlap explains that his office receives considerable requests for his position on the subject. Thus Dunlap refers inquiries to the position taken by the group representing all of the nation's sheriffs.

I came upon the reference and link while scheduling via on-line an appointment with Dunlap's office to renew my concealed carry permit.

The association's resolution and its talking points read:

WHEREAS, the elected Sheriff is recognized throughout the United States as the chief local law enforcement officer and is directly accountable to the people through the electoral process; and

WHEREAS, all sheriffs take an oath of office to enforce and defend the United States Constitution and state constitution and laws; and

WHEREAS, a primary mission of sheriffs is to ensure public safety; and

WHEREAS, gun safety is vitally important to our nation’s public health and the 3,080 sheriffs of this nation; and

WHEREAS, the cause of violence, including gun violence, must be addressed on many fronts, including improved mental health treatment, media violence, drugs, gangs, breakdown of the family, strengthening laws that prevent or reduce the access of legally prohibited persons to firearms and vigorous enforcement of existing laws; and

WHEREAS, the National Sheriffs’ Association represents the interests of all sheriffs who are sworn to support and defend the United States Constitution; and

WHEREAS, sheriffs strongly support our citizens’ protected right to bear arms under the Second Amendment and the National Sheriffs’ Association does not support any laws that deprive any citizen of the rights provided under the Constitution and Bill of Rights; and

WHEREAS, the doctrine of judicial review grants to the United States Supreme Court and the lower courts the power to determine the constitutionality of any law and sheriffs do not v possess the legal authority to interpret the constitutionality of any law;

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, the National Sheriffs’ Association supports the rights conferred by the Second Amendment and further recognizes the ultimate authority of the courts in interpreting the scope of those constitutional rights


1. Rule of Law. Our nation's Sheriffs recognize the rule of law in the United States in which the Supreme Court and lower courts are the ultimate authority in determining the constitutionality of any law.

2. Second Amendment. Our nation's Sheriffs support and are sworn to uphold the constitution and the Bill of Rights, including the Second Amendment.

3. Comprehensive approach. Gun control alone will not solve the problem of guns and extreme violence. Society needs a thoughtful and comprehensive approach to this many faceted issue.

4. Records Access. Law enforcement must have access to relevant records to determine whether a person is legally prohibited from possession of firearms by major improvements in the National Instant Check System.

5. Mental Health Records. Law Enforcement must have access to mental health records for accurate background checks, for responding to 911 calls and for responding to those who suffer from mental illness.

6. Mental Health Treatment. There must be great expansion of treatment resources for those that experience mental illness. We have an epidemic of untreated mental illness across the country, and there is a strong link between untreated mental illness and the increased risk of committing violent acts.

7. Vigorous Prosecution. The nation's Sheriffs support the vigorous prosecution of those who violate existing gun laws, including enhanced sentences.

8. Gun Safety Incentives. The nation's Sheriffs support enhanced firearms safety efforts including incentives to promote both safe and secure storage and use of firearms.

9. Training. The nation’s Sheriffs enhanced training, best practices policies and procedures and adequate resources for law enforcement, schools and those who operate other public facilities, to address active shooters and other safety threats.

10. Culture of Violence. The nation's Sheriffs recognize the culture of violence on the internet, on television, in movies, and especially violent videogames, have a negative influence on our nation's youth.

11. Schools. The nation's Sheriffs are committed to protecting our children in their neighborhoods and in school facilities.

- Jeffrey L. Frischkorn

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