Idaho Sheriffs address federal gun control

BURLEY – The Cassia County Sheriff won’t be coming to your home to take away your guns, not this week, not ever. That was the sentiment shared by Cassia County Sheriff Jay Heward during this week’s County Commissioners meeting.

Heward referenced comments made by Gary Raney who is the Ada County Sheriff and President of the Idaho Sheriff’s Association ( dealing with the second amendment. “Idaho Sheriffs support the state and federal constitutions and the right to bear arms,” reads his statement. A link provided on the website directs readers to a resolution passed by the Sheriff’s Association, which reads:

‘We, the sheriffs of the State of Idaho support the right of law-abiding citizens to keep and bear arms and we oppose any intrusion upon those rights. The resolution recently passed by the National Sheriffs Association eloquently states the exact position of the Idaho Sheriffs Association and therefore, we adopt it as ours.’

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 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

The Idaho Sheriffs’ Association recognizes that the efforts of our state legislature, congress and president are to provide for safer communities by a reduction in gun violence. We take different paths, but the goal is the same. In order to achieve success we must work together on issues upon which we can agree. Citizens expect it and our children deserve it.

On the Idaho Sheriffs website, Raney responded to a story written by the Idaho Statesman where he was quoted as saying he would “enforce all laws, even ones with which he disagrees.” Raney’s reply: “That suggests I would enforce federal gun laws, which is not the case in practicality or philosophy,” Raney said. “Every Idaho sheriff opposes the proposed gun control laws, but regardless, we would simply have no enforcement role if they were to pass. Only federal law enforcement agencies would be involved in such efforts.”

The message Raney and all 44 of Idaho’s Sheriffs are sending, which includes Cassia County’s Heward, is that they won’t be going door to door rounding up firearms should the federal government pass legislation that would put them in conflict with the second amendment of the U.S. Constitution.

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