Justin Smith, Larimer County sheriff, says he won't enforce "unconstitutional" gun laws
In recent days, President Barack Obama has proposed new gun control laws following the Sandy Hook shooting -- and Colorado lawmakers such as Representative Rhonda Fields are backing similar measures.
The trend clearly concerns Larimer County Sheriff Justin Smith, who's now announced that his office won't enforce gun laws he considers to be unconstitutional.
Smith posted a long essay entitled "Preserving our Constitutional Republic" on his Facebook page. In it, he declares that as sheriff, he will not "enforce unconstitutional federal laws...obey unconstitutional laws...allow others to violate the Constitutional Rights of those in my county."
Which recent proposals trouble Smith? For one, broader background checks in regard to firearm purchases -- a subject Fields's aforementioned bill is also meant to address at the state level. We've shared Smith's entire missive below, but here's an excerpt:
Justin Smith at a "polar plunge" event in a photo from his Facebook page.
The only possible way to achieve "universal background checks" for private transactions of lawfully-owned firearms is to register every single firearm in existence in our nation. Otherwise, the federal government could never prove the transaction of a firearm. Anyone who fails to go through with such registration will be defined as a criminal by our federal government. That same government which has all too often has failed to enforce the current laws against criminal predators, will then start to discriminately target and prosecute law-abiding Americans who are simply exercising their Constitutionally recognized Right to keep and bear arms.The response to this post, especially after it was shared in the Fort Collins Coloradoan, has been swift and widely varied. Comments on a Coloradoan poll asking, "Do you agree with Sheriff Smith?" range from expressions of support like this one....
America will be far better off having local Sheriffs that live in the area they represent deciding what laws they'll enforce instead of every LEO just carrying out whatever orders they're given from the federal government with no questions asked....to passionate criticism exemplified by the following:
Sherriff Smith is now a self-made constitutional law attorney. He needs to get out of the business of deciding which laws he will enforce.Smith seems to be enjoying the debate his manifesto has stirred. On a subsequent Facebook post, he notes that he's gained 150-plus followers since he shared his thoughts. He also includes two links to the Coloradoan survey, including one in which he encourages his new friends to weigh in, "so that the discussion isn't one-sided."
Continue to read Sheriff Smith's essay.