Letters to the Editor

Looking for sheriffs' views on gun legislation

In the United States, a sheriff is a county official and is typically the top law enforcement officer of a county. Historically, the sheriff was also commander of the militia in that county. Distinctive to law enforcement in the United States, sheriffs are usually elected. The political election of a person to serve as a police leader is an almost uniquely American tradition.

In Washington, each sheriff of the 39 counties is an elected official serving a four-year term. You are the chief law-enforcement officer of your county and are empowered to enforce the criminal laws of the State of Washington and the county your office represents. When you accepted the office you all took an oath to defend our Constitution.

Ladies and gentlemen, it is now time to fulfill that oath.

From a letter penned to Vice President Joe Biden from the Sheriff of Linn County, Oregon, Tim Mueller:

“In the wake of recent criminal events, politicians are attempting to exploit the deaths of innocent victims by advocating for laws that would prevent honest, law abiding Americans from possessing certain firearms and ammunition magazines. We are Americans. We must not allow, nor will we tolerate, the actions of criminals, no matter how heinous the crime, to prompt politicians to enact laws that will infringe upon the liberties of responsible citizens who have broken no law.

“Any federal regulation enacted by Congress or by executive order of the President offending the constitutional rights of my citizens shall not be enforced by me or by my deputies, nor will I permit the enforcement of any unconstitutional regulations or orders by federal officers within the borders of Linn County, Oregon.

“In summary, it is the position of this Sheriff that I refuse to participate, or idly stand by, while my citizens are turned into criminals due to the unconstitutional actions of misguided politicians.”

Sheriff Mueller has since been joined by sheriffs from Oregon, Kentucky, Minnesota and several other states. Here is my question to the good sheriffs of Washington state — Where do  you stand? Do you stand with the people of your county, the people of Washington state, or does your allegiance lie with the weak-kneed politicians in Washington, D.C.?

Tim Personius



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