A high-profile former sheriff who once sued the U.S. government over its gun regulations – and won – says it is the local sheriff who will have to defend Americans when and if the feds start banning and confiscating guns. Richard Mack, a former sheriff in Graham County, Ariz., joined with then-Ravalli County Sheriff Jay Printz in a lawsuit against Washington when Bill Clinton demanded sheriffs enforce provisions of the Brady Bill gun control law.
He won. And since then he’s been at the front of a movement that highlights the responsibility of local sheriffs. Now, as Washington gears up to consider imperious plans to limit guns, require fingerprinting and registration, impose additional taxes and fees, ban particular features or functions outright, and even confiscate weapons of self-defense, Mack has told WND that there’s hope remaining in local law enforcement.
It’s not complicated, he said. “Gun control is illegal and it’s against the Constitution,” he said. “What people don’t realize is that the Second Amendment was designed to protect us from the power of the federal government.”
He said he would expect sheriffs across the country to defend the rights of ordinary Americans. “I hope and pray America’s sheriffs won’t allow any more gun control,” Mack said. “The sheriffs need to be united in letting the federal government know that we’re not going to allow it.
“In the ’90s when I was the sheriff of Graham County, Ariz., we worked with other sheriffs and stopped two or three Brady Bills,” he recalled, a fight that he’s been detailing in seminars with sheriffs.
He said the office is critical, as it’s not only in law enforcement, but also is elected directly by the people.
“Out of 200 sheriffs with whom I’ve met, I’ve only had one give me a wishy-washy answer. That one said he would try to take the federal government to court,” Mack said. “Most of them have said they would lay down their lives first rather than allow any more federal control. They also said they would do everything they could to stop gun control and gun confiscation.”
Alan Stang at News With Views wrote about another battle Mack encountered while sheriff. A bridge had washed out and parents were driving children 26 miles to school, which physically was located only half a mile across a river.
The county decided the fix the bridge and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers warned that an environmental study alone would take 10 years. Mack promised to provide protection for the workers, and said he’d call out a posse if needed.
The bridge was built. Stang wrote about other close encounter between sheriffs and the feds:
“In 1997, in Nye County, Nevada, federal agents arrived to seize cattle that belonged to rancher Wayne Hage. The sheriff gave them a choice: skedaddle or be arrested. They skedaddled. … In Idaho, a 74-year-old rancher shot an endangered gray wolf which had killed one of his calves. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service sent three armed agents to serve a warrant. Lemhi County Sheriff Brett Barslou said that was ‘inappropriate, heavy-handed and dangerously close to excessive force.’ More than 500 people turned out for a rally in the small towns of Challis and Salmon to support the sheriff and the rancher and to tell the federal government to back off.”