Does a Sheriff Really Have The Right To Choose Which Laws To Enforce?

By Sheriff Richard Mack (Ret)
Richard Mack
I have received several media inquiries regarding the sheriffs in Washington and New Mexico who are valiantly standing against their states' attempts to promote Gun Control. Invariably, these well-intended reporters ask how it is that our nation's sheriffs can choose which laws to enforce. The answer is an easy one: because that is precisely what they promised to do. But in the case of Washington, the people voted by referendum to support more gun control by 58%. So the sheriffs there have the duty to go along with "the will of the people." Right?

WRONG! Perhaps in a Democracy this would be true, but America IS NOT a Democracy. Despite all the brainwashing of the last 150 years claiming that the USA is a Democracy, the truth of the matter is that we are absolutely, unequivocally, a Constitutional Republic. The difference being that in a Democracy the majority rules. In our Constitutional Republic, the Constitution rules, and is unquestionably and unambiguously, the Supreme Law of the Land.

Therefore, the law in Article 6 of the U.S. Constitution that requires that "all legislatures, and all executive and judicial Officers... shall be bound by oath or affirmation, to support this Constitution," says exactly what the sheriff is required to do. Incidentally, the sheriff takes the same oath to the Constitution as Justices of the Supreme Court and the President.

So, all three branches of government, at all levels - cities, counties, states and federal - have differing assignments but the same purpose: to secure and protect the rights of the people. This is the proper pole of government and is the paramount duty of the sheriff, city council, county commission, state legislature, congress, POTUS, and every judge in this country. Our sworn duty is to support the Constitution and thus, defend the unalienable rights of the people we work for.

Martin Luther King said, "I would be the first to advocate obeying just laws. One has not only a legal but a moral responsibility to obey just laws. Conversely, one has a moral responsibility to disobey unjust laws."

"All laws which are repugnant to the Constitution are null and void." Marbury vs. Madison

Dr. King was absolutely correct and so was SCOTUS in this landmark case of 1803. No sheriff has any obligation to enforce any law contrary to the Constitution. Our ultimate goal in America is L I B E R T Y. When laws become the "tool of the tyrant" or when laws become the evil they were intended to punish, then it becomes the duty of all sheriffs and peace officers in every state to oppose them, not enforce them. Could there ever be any worse tyranny than the blind enforcement of unconstitutional laws?

To secure liberty, we must stand against all officers of government when they are wrong  and contrary to Constitution. We must even do this when the people themselves go against the rights that are guaranteed in the Constitution. (Again, this exemplifies the difference between a democracy and a constitutional republic.)

We should also be looking at history for these some of these answers. Not a single Black Code should have ever been enforced. No Jim Crow laws should have ever been enforced and certainly, the idiotic ruling in Plessy v Ferguson that established the "Separate but Equal" doctrine should have never seen the light of day, yet this ruling perpetuated segregation for another 55 years! The Supreme Court was wrong and every state and every sheriff should have opposed such nonsense. And no, Rosa Parks should have never been arrested for failing to give her seat to a white man. But she was. The history lesson here is that we never enforce such laws today that clearly violate the rights of the people.

The CSPOA absolutely applauds and stands with the sheriffs in Washington and New Mexico and the county commissioners of Quay County, NM who made their county a "Second Amendment Sanctuary." These are true American heroes and they are clearly on solid legal and historical ground.

" It is impossible to introduce into society a greater change and a greater evil than this: the conversion of the law into an instrument of plunder." Frederick Bastiat

Let us carry the torch of liberty today in every aspect of government, that every citizen and public official may understand that programs and statutes could never become superior to the principles our country was based on. What is the solution to all societal ills, taxation, immigration, poverty, politics, crime, corruption, climate change, national debt, etc.?

Liberty is still the answer.

Available along with many other items from the CSPOA Shop:

Comes with the following items and books:
1 Annual Membership ($50 Value)
1 CSPOA Hat ($20 Value)
1 Are You A David ($15 Value)
1 The County Sheriff ($15 Value)
1 The Magic of Gun Control ($15 Value)
3 Victory for State Sovereignty  ($9 Value)

The Constitutional Sheriffs Movement
Is On The March
By Rick Dalton
Sheriffs around the nation are doing their sworn duty to intervene and protect the rights of their constituents.
Unconstitutional gun control laws are introduced in many state legislatures and in the federal Congress on a regular basis.  This year is no exception. When this happens, Constitutional Sheriffs and other law enforcement officers stand up and oppose them.  Again, this year is no exception. 

In Washington state, as reported by the Wall Street Journal:

More than a dozen county sheriffs in Washington state are refusing to enforce a sweeping gun-control measure that passed with the support of 59% of the state's voters in November.

The new law raises the age for buying semiautomatic rifles to 21 from 18, stiffens background checks for purchases of semiautomatic rifles, and imposes new criminal penalties for the unsafe storage of firearms.

It is the most wide-reaching gun control law passed anywhere in the U.S. since a 19-year-old gunman opened fire at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla., with a semiautomatic rifle one year ago this week, killing 17 people.

At least 16 elected sheriffs, primarily from rural, conservative counties that voted against the measure, say they won't enforce the law because they believe it is unconstitutional. Most have been vague about which parts they won't impose.

The gun-control law is being challenged in court by the Second Amendment Foundation and the National Rifle Association, who argue that some of the new regulations deny people their constitutional right to bear arms. The recently filed suit is currently pending.

Sheriff Brad Manke
Stevens County, WA
"I'm morally opposed to any law that's really against our Second Amendment rights," said Brad Manke, sheriff of Stevens County in northeast Washington, where Initiative 1639 received only 27% support. "It's difficult to have laws forced upon you."

Sheriffs in the rest of Washington's 39 counties, as well as the vast majority of the state's 200-plus police chiefs, haven't publicly stated that they plan to defy the new law.

Whether it's criminalizing private gun sales, taking guns away by SWAT actions from people who others say "might" hurt somebody with a gun, or holding you responsible for a neighbor who might steal your gun from you and shoot somebody, it's the same "common sense" violations of human rights of the average citizen by force to attempt to stop bad guys and crazies from gun violence.  As always, it's the gun that is the target, not the bad actor.  And these gun laws are introduced around the nation in many states in the hopes that they will slip past our Constitutional protectors.

CSPOA is proud of Sheriff Manke and hundreds of others who are standing in the gap by interposing in these cases to stop the destruction of liberty. 

In another example of the Constitutional Sheriff Movement's strong force for limited government, as reported by the Ruidoso News:

New gun control laws being considered by the New Mexico Legislature are opposed by most law enforcement officials in Lincoln County, and many in the state. "I'm worn out. My brain is fried dealing with Santa Fe," Sheriff Robert Shepperd said Friday. "I have been going every week or twice a week to testify before committees."

"Twenty-eight of New Mexico's 33 sheriffs oppose House Bill 8 covering universal background checks," he said. On Friday the New Mexico House of Representatives passed House Bill 8, on a 41-25 vote.

"Any type of sale, transfer or transaction of firearms whether to a stranger or your son, your daughter, has to go through a licensed firearm dealer for a background check on the individual," Shepperd said. "We're opposed to any more restrictive gun measures at all. This is just a step closer to full gun registration."

Is your sheriff a Constitutional sheriff?  How about your chief of police?  You should find out and refer them to CSPOA and our Vet Your Sheriff program.


Available along with many other items from the CSPOA Shop:

Comes with the following items and books:
1 Annual Membership ($50 Value)
1 CSPOA Hat ($20 Value)
1 Are You A David ($15 Value)
1 The County Sheriff ($15 Value)
1 The Magic of Gun Control ($15 Value)
3 Victory for State Sovereignty  ($9 Value)

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