By GQ Pan
Deputies of Cache County, Utah, are not going to enforce any federal policy that may infringe on residents’ Second Amendment rights, the County Sheriff’s office said, in response to new gun control measures introduced by President Joe Biden.
Shortly after Biden revealed the planned executive actions on guns, County Sheriff D. Chad Jensen took to the official Facebook page of his department to assure people that “unconstitutional gun control” will not happen in the county on “his watch.”
“I have always supported and wholeheartedly enforced all constitutionally-sound laws that deter and penalize gun violence,” Jensen wrote in the April 9 statement. “It is critical we continue to work to keep firearms out of the hands of those who would use them to commit acts of violence against our citizens.”
Jensen noted that the state of Utah already restricts certain people from owning firearms, including drug addicts, convicted felons, convicted domestic abusers, those with an active order of protection, and those with certified mental health conditions. He also highlighted his department’s “great symbiotic working relationship” with the federal law enforcement partners in combating crimes.
That being said, the county sheriff added he will never support any action from the federal government he deemed in conflict with the Constitution.
“As your sheriff, I will always stand and fight for ALL your constitutional rights,” the statement reads. “I stand at the forefront of this county to protect your rights from government overreach.”
Jensen’s statement, which has drawn more than a thousand responses on Facebook, was met with a mixed reaction. While many commenters said they appreciated his commitment to the Second Amendment, some others questioned why he gets to “pick and choose” which laws to enforce.
In an effort to address what he described as a “gun violence epidemic,” Biden on April 8 introduced a gun control package that limits the availability of certain guns an accessories and encourages states themselves to tighten gun control. One of the executive orders seeks to restrict “ghost guns,” or homemade, unregistered firearms usually built from a kit that could be ordered online. Another order restricts the sale of stabilizing braces designed to increase the accuracy and reduce the recoil of pistols, making them behave more like rifles.
Several high-profile Republicans, including Utah Sen. Mike Lee, have criticized Biden’s gun control proposals as unconstitutional. Lee warned that those actions might be just the first step of a broader and more restrictive gun control plan in the future.
“It doesn’t get him to where he wants to go here, which is, I suspect, a national gun registry system and a massive process of federally banning a number of firearms commonly held by law-abiding persons,” Lee said on Fox News last month.
“That’s not going to fly and that’s not consistent with the Constitution or what the American people will accept,” he added.