EXCLUSIVE: Midland County Sheriff Will Not Enforce Stricter Gun Laws 2/13/13
CBS 7 News Reporter
February 13, 2013
MIDLAND COUNTY, TX – As President Obama continues the push to enforce stricter gun laws, Midland County Sheriff Gary Painter holds his stance that the crack down on gun enforcement will not happen under his jurisdiction.
When asked if he would enforce those laws if they passed, Painter responded, “No, I will not”.
Painter believes that Obama’s executive actions and push to change gun laws are unconstitutional.
"I don't believe that it's legal. I don't believe it's constitutional," said Painter.
He says the potential laws are violations of the second amendment right to bear arms; therefore they are unlawful and should be challenged in court.
“They need to be challenged in a court of law. They need to be brought before the Supreme Court. The Constitution of the United States says as an American citizen, I have the right to keep and bear arms. The Constitution of the State of Texas says that we will defend the right to keep and bear arms. I will," said Painter.
But for pro gun control supporters, they say not enforcing potential changes is breaking the rules.
"I know that he [Painter] is sworn to uphold the law and I hope he would uphold the law even if he doesn't agree with them,” said David Rosen, Midland Democratic Party President.
Rosen says that if Painter does not enforce the law, he is not protecting Midlanders from potential harm, which is his responsibility.
"If something were to happen with those guns and the sheriff chose not to enforce that law...then the blood would be on his hands, as well as Midland County’s," said Rosen.
Painter believes he will not be breaking the law because the potential changes made would contradict The Constitution. He goes on to say he’s not responsible for people's actions, neither is the weapon.
"It's not the weapon’s fault. It's the peoples’ fault that pulled the trigger," he said.
Painter says he is not the only sheriff planning on not enforcing potential changes to gun enforcement laws.
He says this is only the preview of a battle on gun control that would need to be settled in the courtroom.
Tomorrow Sheriff Painter will be speaking openly about his stance against enforcing stricter gun laws. Painter is the guest speaker for The John Birch Society
. The group's event will be held tomorrow at 11:30am at the Midland County Club.