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Old March 3, 2014, 07:06 AM   #1
bikerbill
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Sheriffs and the law

Read an interesting piece in the state concealed handgun organization's newsletter.

Like many of you, I'm sure, I cheered when sheriffs in CO and NY announced they would not enforce their states' new severe gun laws. But the newsletter writer put it in a different perspective for me.

Like Obama, sheriffs are elected in most cases and swear an oath to uphold the Constitution and the laws of their jurisdictions. The writer's point was that most of us feel Obama is violating his oath by not enforcing some laws and dreaming up new ones not passed by Congress. The same can be said for sheriffs refusing to enforce laws they deem to be unconstitutional.

The flip side, of course, is that many of those who voted for Obama like how he's governing and many, like us, have been fans of sheriffs declining to enforce laws we don't like. For our country to function, we need to honor and respect the Constitution, which provides remedies for fixing bad law and getting rid of bad politicians.

Agree? No?
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Old March 3, 2014, 08:15 AM   #2
JimPage
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When the Constitution is blatantly violated, it is up to the people to correct the wrong through their representatives if possible. Sheriffs are representatives of the people and sheriffs have special relationships to the law. Lacking legitimate reform from representatives the people have the responsibility to correct the wrong by any means possible. One of the purposes of the Second Amendment is to provide the people with the means to take action.
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Old March 3, 2014, 09:38 AM   #3
OuTcAsT
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bikerbill wrote;
Quote:
Like Obama, sheriffs are elected in most cases and swear an oath to uphold the Constitution and the laws of their jurisdictions.
While this is true, there is a difference. You touched on it:

Quote:
Obama is violating his oath by not enforcing some laws
He has no law enforcement powers, that falls to a different part of government.(though he does have the influence to directly affect that department)

Quote:
and dreaming up new ones not passed by Congress.
^^ This is one huge difference. A Sheriff does not make law and, unlike the POTUS, he does not stand at the head of the stream from which all things flow.

Quote:
For our country to function, we need to honor and respect the Constitution,
Agreed, however the Constitution, and laws are completely different things.

Quote:
The same can be said for sheriffs refusing to enforce laws they deem to be unconstitutional.
The line in the sand has to be drawn by someone, somewhere. I would argue that most county Sheriffs are more "in tune" with the will of the people than almost any other elected official, certainly the ones in D.C. And, their responsibility is to protect and serve the folks that elected them. There are many State governments that are refusing to enforce certain laws and, recognizing that they represent the voice of the people as well.

Some would argue that it is a "breakdown" of the system, I see it as the system working as it should. The message has to originate from someone.
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Last edited by OuTcAsT; March 3, 2014 at 09:49 AM.
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Old March 3, 2014, 10:17 AM   #4
Brian Pfleuger
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Actually, neither sheriffs nor POTUS swear to uphold "the laws".


The oath of office for a sheriff is usually very similar to:

I,(STATE YOUR NAME________) , do solemnly swear that I will support the Constitution of the United States and the Constitution of the State of ______, and that I will faithfully discharge the duties the office of the ______ County Sheriff’s Department to the best of my skill and judgment, SO HELP ME GOD.

or

I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support the constitution of the United States, and the constitution of the State of ________, and that I will faithfully discharge the duties of the office of....


The POTUS oath is:
“I, (name)_______, do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the Office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my Ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.”


In other words, they swear to uphold the Constitution(s) and to do so with their best skill, judgment, faithfulness, ability, etc. They do not swear to uphold laws and a strong argument can be made that defending the Constitution(s) may require NOT upholding some laws.
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Old March 3, 2014, 10:34 AM   #5
steve4102
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bikerbill
cheered when sheriffs in CO and NY announced they would not enforce their states' new severe gun laws. But the newsletter writer put it in a different perspective for me.
I'm not sure which NY Sheriffs you are referring to, but the Niagara County Sheriffs. Are enforcing the Safe Act.

This guy was arrested and charged with 10 rounds in his mag. The Niagara Co. Sheriffs dept was sent to his home to confiscate all of his firearms and the did as they were instructed to do.

http://www.100percentfedup.com/news/...magazine-limit

http://www.buffalonews.com/city-regi...dguns-20131028

http://www.buffalonews.com/city-regi...t-man-20140226
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Old March 3, 2014, 10:58 AM   #6
ClydeFrog
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Sheriffs....

US sheriffs by & large, get elected into office then stay there for years.
My county's current sheriff retired from a police chief post of a agency with approx 800 sworn personnel. His predecessor was county sheriff for about 12-14 years. That sheriff's predecessor served 10 years in office.
Most of the sheriffs in my state seem pro-2A & pro-CCW. A few testified to state officials about issues around open carry/weapon retention(which I strongly disagreed with) and the carry/use/sale of firearms during state-federal declared emergencies.
As posted, county sheriffs are elected not appointed(like public safety directors or police chiefs). Most residents or registered voters are either unaware of the sheriff's political views or they are uninformed about the social issues in their community.
I can't think of any local sheriffs who were cut or had - issues that ran them out in the counties near me. Most just retire or change jobs.
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Old March 3, 2014, 11:00 AM   #7
Brian Pfleuger
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Quote:
I'm not sure which NY Sheriffs
Several NY sheriffs have publicly said that they will not enforce the unSAFE Act. It's hard to prove who isn't, only who is, since "isn't" will by definition have no record of non-arrests.

Many, including the NY Sherrif's Association, have joined the lawsuits against the unSAFE Act
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Old March 3, 2014, 11:41 AM   #8
OuTcAsT
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Brian Pfleuger Wrote; (Emphasis mine)
Quote:
In other words, they swear to uphold the Constitution(s) and to do so with their best skill, judgment, faithfulness, ability, etc. They do not swear to uphold laws and a strong argument can be made that defending the Constitution(s) may require NOT upholding some laws.
Precisely, well said.
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Old March 3, 2014, 11:59 AM   #9
JimDandy
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The President is in charge of numerous organizations in practice if not in theory that enforce the laws. FBI, BATFE, DEA, and ICE just to name a few.

Executive "actions" rest on the authority delegated to the departments the President is administrating, by the Congress. For example, the BATFE has some leeway defining things under their purview.

Taking Peruta, being discussed elsewhere, for an easy tie-in the Sheriff took an "executive action" administering the California concealed carry law based on the authority delegated by the California State legislature letting him define "good cause".

And while the 9th has just told us that faithfully discharging the duties of the Sheriff's Office of San Diego County might violate the Constitution, they also showed us the proper process to resolve that conflict in the oath.
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