An Eastern Kentucky sheriff has vowed that he will not take part in enforcing federal gun laws that he believes violate his constituents’ Second Amendment rights.
“My office will not comply with any federal action which violates the United States Constitution or the Kentucky Constitution which I swore to uphold,” said Jackson County Sheriff Denny Peyman. “Let them pull that stuff in other places if they want, but not in Jackson County, Kentucky.”
Peyman held a press conference Saturday in which he said resisting a federal gun grab was his “moral obligation.”
According to the Lexington Herald-Leader, the sheriff says he has “a team of attorneys to step up with me if necessary to be sure the Second Amendment is upheld.”
“I’m for people defending themselves,” he said. “There are some places in this county that takes me 45 minutes to get to. If they have a gun, they could do a better job of defending themselves than waiting for me.”
Peyman is worried about federal gun confiscation. President Barack Obama accused organizations like the National Rifle Association — to which the sheriff belongs — of “ginning up fear on the part of gun owners that somehow the federal government’s about to take all your guns away.”
In his Monday press conference, Obama said that “responsible gun owners, people who have a gun for protection, for hunting, for sportsmanship, they don’t have anything to worry about.”
Kentucky tea party activist David Adams described Peyman as a “reasonable guy,” not a “gun-waving … extremist.” Adams told The Daily Caller News Foundation that Peyman’s stance is popular locally.
“On the whole, we are very serious about Second Amendment rights in Kentucky,” he said. “Even Democrats who run in this state have to at least pay lip service to this issue. We’re not hearing too many people say, ‘If Obama wants to take your guns, doggone it, let him have them.’”
Adams pointed out that while Kentucky is a “purple state,” Obama lost it by wide margins in the last two presidential elections. Peyman emphasizes that he sees this as a legal battle, not a gun battle.
“We’ll see when push comes to shove. It’s going to have to go into the courtrooms. It’s not going to be, I mean we don’t want a bloodbath in our community when they come in to take guns,” he said, according to WKYT, a local news station. “It’s going to have to be taken care of in a court room before it gets to that point.”
The recommendations of Vice President Joe Biden’s gun violence task force, convened after the Sandy Hook Elementary school murders in Newtown, Conn., are expected Tuesday.
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