Sheriffs release viewpoints on gun-control enforcement

9:27 PM, Jan 23, 2013   |    comments
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New letters released Wednesday from Arapahoe County Sheriff Grayson Robinson and Garfield County Sheriff Lou Vallario show opposite constitutional viewpoints on proposed gun legislation. The letters come in addition to comments about gun-control made by two Northern Colorado sheriffs last week.

Article written by Sheriff Lou Vallario

Robinson sent a letter to people in Arapahoe County Tuesday reinforcing the right to bear arms, but calling on public service officials in Colorado to uphold the Constitution.

"We are a nation of laws," Robinson said. "Public safety professionals serving in the executive branch, do not have the constitutional authority, responsibility, and in most cases, the credentials to determine the constitutionality of any issue."

Last week, President Obama has called for tougher federal gun laws requiring background checks for all gun purchases and banning assault rifles.

To that end, Garfield County Sheriff Lou Vallario took issue with assault rifle bans in his stance against tougher gun laws.

"My right to own a so-called 'assault weapon' [even though nobody can define what that is] ... for whatever legal reason I chose [sic] is nobody's business, especially the government's," Vallario said in a two-page letter defining his stance.

In his letter, Vallario said he took an oath to "support and defend the constitution of the United States and the Constitution of the State of Colorado, not to be a part of destroying them."

Robinson says he took the same oath, yet, took exception with a "handful of public servants" that reject enforcement of any unconstitutional mandates.

"For a public safety professional to suggest that they can determine the constitutionality of an issue and establish public policy based upon that ill-conceived notion, would be tantamount to a peace officer arresting an individual, deciding guilt and sentencing the individual to incarceration in the county jail," Robinson said.

Last week, Weld County Sheriff John Cooke and Larimer County Sheriff Justin Smith said they would not enforce laws that infringe on the Second Amendment.

Smith later amended his comments to say it was simply opinion, and a spokesman has said Smith wouldn't try to determine on his own what is constitutional.

(KUSA-TV © 2013 Multimedia Holdings Corporation)

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