An Oregon sheriff has sent a letter to Vice President Joe Biden declaring that his office will refuse to enforce any new federal gun laws that he considers unconstitutional.
Linn County Sheriff Tim Mueller posted the letter publicly on Facebook before sending it to Biden. Throughout the letter, Mueller alludes to recent efforts to ban assault weapons and large magazines, and says his department will not enforce any attempts to ban these weapons.
“In the wake of recent criminal events, politicians are attempting to exploit the deaths of innocent victims by advocating for laws that would prevent honest, law-abiding Americans from possessing certain firearms and ammunition magazines,” Mueller wrote after introducing himself as a 28-year law enforcement veteran.
"We are Americans," Mueller continued. "We must not allow, nor shall we tolerate, the actions of criminals, no matter how heinous the crimes, to prompt politicians to enact laws that will infringe upon the liberties of responsible citizens who have broken no laws."
“Any federal regulation enacted by Congress or by executive order of the president offending the constitutional rights of my citizens shall not be enforced by me or by my deputies, nor will I permit the enforcement of any unconstitutional regulations or orders by federal officers within the borders of Linn County, Oregon.
“In summary, it is the position of this sheriff that I refuse to participate, or stand idly by, while my citizens are turned into criminals due to the unconstitutional actions of misguided politicians,” Mueller closed his letter.
While Oregon is heavily Democratic in national and statewide elections, it’s worth noting that Linn County is largely rural and solidly conservative. USA Today notes that President Barack Obama took less than 40 percent of the vote there in last year’s election.
At the same time Mueller is refusing to enforce new gun control laws, however, Oregon legislators have been working hard to limit access to firearms in the state. State Sen. Ginny Burdick has been one of the strongest voices for gun control, calling for a statewide ban of assault rifles and a limit to magazines larger than 10 rounds.
"If we have a five-shot limit for hunting big game, why on earth would want to have a 100-round magazines on our streets? The only purpose of these guns is to kill people," she said, according to Portland’s KGW.com.
Mueller is not the only sheriff unwilling to play ball with Obama’s attempts at increased gun control. CNN notes that Jackson County, Ky., Sheriff Danny Peyman also stated that he would refuse to enforce any new gun bans placed by executive order.
But Peyman later told CNN he would comply with any laws passed by Congress.
"If it goes through Congress, if it becomes law, if it goes that way, yeah, I'd enforce the law," he told CNN.