Sheriffs Respond to President’s Gun Proposals

| January 17, 2013 | 12:37 am
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At least two area law enforcement officials have written to President Barack Obama regarding his plans for reducing gun violence.  Johnson County Sheriff Chuck Heiss wrote in his letter that he disagreed with Obama’s proposals, and said that the executive orders infringe upon the 2nd amendment rights of Americans.  Livingston County Sheriff Steve Cox has drafted an altered version of the same letter.  Click to hear KMZU’s Sarah Scott speak with Sheriff Cox:

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The president signed 23 executive orders Wednesday.  He also made several proposals for curbing gun violence that require congressional action.

Letter from Johnson County Sheriff Chuck Heiss

January 16, 2013

The Honorable Barak Obama

President, United States of America

The White House

1600 Pennsylvania Avenue

WashingtonD.C. 20500

Dear Mr. President,

My name is Charles M. Heiss and I am the Sheriff of Johnson County, Missouri. I have held this office since January 1, 1997. I am writing to you to express my concern with the tone of your administration with respect to the Second Amendment Rights of American citizens. It appears to me and many Americans that there is a genuine desire on the part of your administration to restrict the Second Amendment rights of law abiding American citizens in the interest of curbing gun violence in our nation.

Throughout our nations history the United States Constitution and the Bill of Rights has served as the very foundation of our free society. The Second Amendment to the United States Constitution has long guaranteed our citizens the right to keep and bear arms and is central to our ability to live in a free society. Any attempt to restrict these Second Amendment rights through executive order is unconstitutional and tantamount to an all out assault on the United States Constitution. Just as the Fourth Amendment to the constitution guarantees our citizens the right to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects against unreasonable search and seizure, the Second Amendment guarantees each of us the right to keep and bear arms to protect ourselves from anyone who would seek to cause us harm. This includes the federal Government.

World history has shown us that when a society does not possess the ability to defend itself it becomes ripe for victimization by criminals, and ripe for government oppression. One need not look too far in today’s world to see glaring examples of defenseless people being brutalized by rogue regimes and dictators. Syria, North Korea, and Mali are just a few examples of this type of oppression.Mexico is a stark reminder of a society overrun with criminal element in the form of Drug Cartels.

As the duly elected Sheriff of Johnson County, Missouri, it is my sworn duty to protect and defend the Constitutions of theUnited States of America, and the State of Missouri against all enemies both foreign and domestic. This means I not only have the duty to protect my constituents from incidents of crime, but I also have a duty and responsibility to protect and preserve the individual rights and liberties afforded and guaranteed to every citizen by our constitutions. This, Mr. President is a duty I fully understand, appreciate, and will carry out with great vigor and conviction. I will most certainly urge my fellow Sheriffs in the State of Missouriand across this great nation to rise to the defense and aid of all Americans should the federal government attempt to enact any legislation, or executive order that impedes, erodes, or otherwise diminishes their constitutional right to keep and bear arms. I will use all means legal to meet this solemn and sacred responsibility.

Respectfully,

Charles M. Heiss

Sheriff Johnson County,Missouri.

Letter from Livingston County Sheriff Steve Cox

Johnson County Sheriff Charles Heiss authored most of the following letter to President Obama. Sheriff Heiss has given me permission to copy and alter his letter and use as I see fit. I believe many Missouri Sheriff’s also share the same opinion of the following letter. I have added a few sentences to the original letter so it better describes my views. I respect the opinion of all our citizens and I hope they also respect my opinion and the Oath of Office I have taken as their sheriff. I personally and professionally believe there are many other useful ways to better help in educating and protecting our population then by dismantling the Constitution of the United States of America.

January 16, 2013

The Honorable Barack Obama

President United States of America

The White House

1600 Pennsylvania Avenue

WashingtonD.C.20500

Dear Mr. President,

My name is Steve Cox and I am the Sheriff of Livingston County, Missouri. I have held this office since January 1, 2001. I am writing to you to express my concern with the tone of your administration with respect to the Second Amendment Rights of American citizens. It appears to me and many Americans that there is a genuine desire on the part of your administration to restrict the Second Amendment rights of law abiding American citizens in the interest of curbing gun violence in our nation.

I do not know of any law abiding citizen that wants to ever see any child or adult harmed. However, I have also witnessed the Federal Government refusing to utilize the current laws to prosecute prohibited persons who are in possession of firearms. Too many of those people go on to harm others and/or create more crime victims before ever being prosecuted.

Throughout our nation’s history the United States Constitution and the Bill of Rights has served as the very foundation of our free society. The Second Amendment to the United States Constitution has long guaranteed our citizens the right to keep and bare arms and is central to our ability to live in a free society. Any attempt to restrict these Second Amendment rights through executive order is in my opinion unconstitutional and tantamount to an all-out assault on the United States Constitution. Just as the Fourth Amendment of the constitution guarantees our citizens the right to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects against unreasonable search and seizure, the Second Amendment guarantees each of us the right to keep and bare arms to protect ourselves from anyone who would seek to cause us harm. This includes the federal Government.

World history has shown us that when a society does not possess the ability to defend itself it becomes ripe for victimization by criminals, and ripe for government oppression. One need not look too far in today’s world to see glaring examples of defenseless people being brutalized by rogue regimes and dictators. Syria, North Korea, and Mali are just a few examples of this type of oppression.

Furthermore, Mexico is a stark reminder of a society overrun with criminal element in the form of Drug Cartels. In my opinion, if your administration wanted to work on gun control and eliminate assault weapons going to criminals who are interested in killing other human beings then why did the Federal Government arm members of Mexican Drug Trafficking Organizations which have been used in violent crimes and murders (Fast and Furious)?

As the duly elected Sheriff of Livingston County, Missouri, it is my sworn duty to protect and defend the Constitutions of the United States of America, and the State of Missouri against all enemies both foreign and domestic. This means I not only have the duty to protect my constituents from incidents of crime, but I also have a duty and responsibility to protect and preserve the individual rights and liberties afforded and guaranteed to every citizen by our constitutions. This, Mr. President is a duty I fully understand, appreciate, and will carry out with great vigor and conviction. I will most certainly urge my fellow Sheriffs in the State of Missouri and across this great nation to rise to the defense and aid of all Americans should the federal government attempt to enact any legislation, or executive order that impedes, erodes, or otherwise diminishes their constitutional right to keep and bare arms. I will use all means legal to meet this solemn and sacred responsibility.

Respectfully,

Steve Cox, Sheriff

Livingston County, Missouri.

Overview of the President’s Proposals, Courtesy of the AP

WASHINGTON (AP) — Proposals for curbing gun violence announced Wednesday by President Barack Obama:

NEEDS CONGRESSIONAL ACTION:

— Requiring background checks on all gun sales. The Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence says 40 percent of gun sales are conducted with no criminal background check, such as at gun shows and by private sellers over the Internet or through classified ads. Obama said there should be exceptions for cases like certain transfers among family members and temporary transfers for hunting purposes.

— Reinstating the assault weapons ban. A 10-year ban on high-grade, military-style weapons expired in 2004. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., says such a ban might clear the Senate but doubts it could get through the House.

— Renewing a 10-round limit on the size of ammunition magazines.

— Prohibiting the possession, transfer, manufacture and import of dangerous armor-piercing bullets.

— Senate confirmation of a director for the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. The agency has been run by an acting director, Todd Jones, whom Obama will nominate to become director.

— New gun trafficking laws penalizing people who help criminals get guns.

EXECUTIVE ORDER:

— Address legal barriers in health laws that bar some states from making available information about people who are prohibited from having guns.

— Improve incentives for states to share information with the background check system.

— Make sure that federal agencies share relevant information with the background check system.

— Direct the attorney general to work with other agencies to review existing laws to make sure they can identify individuals who shouldn’t have access to guns.

— Direct the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and other research agencies to conduct research into the causes and prevention of gun violence.

— Clarify that no federal law prohibits doctors or other health care providers from contacting authorities when patients threaten to use violence.

— Give local communities the opportunity to hire up to 1,000 school resource officers and counselors.

— Require federal law enforcement to trace all recovered guns.

— Propose regulations that will enable law enforcement to run complete background checks before returning firearms that have been seized.

— Direct the Justice Department to analyze information on lost and stolen guns and make that information available to law enforcement.

— Provide training for state and local law enforcement, first responders and school officials on how to handle active-shooter situations.

— Make sure every school has a comprehensive emergency management plan.

— Help ensure that young people get needed mental health treatment.

— Ensure that health insurance plans cover mental health benefits.

— Encourage development of new technology to make it easier for gun owners to safely use and store their guns.

— Have the Consumer Product Safety Commission assess the need for new safety standards for gun locks and gun safes.

— Launch a national campaign about responsible gun ownership.

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