Sheriff Mike Lewis might ignore gun control laws, but in his view he’s doing it for the people who elected him. He’s a sheriff in the state of Maryland, which has one of the toughest gun control laws in the country.
In a recent report by NBC news, Mike Lewis explained his position and that of like-minded sheriffs and peace officers.
“State police and highway patrol get their orders from the governor,” the sheriff said, “I get my orders from the citizens in this county.” He added:
“I made a vow and a commitment that as long as I’m the sheriff of this county I will not allow the federal government to come in here and strip my law-abiding citizens of the right to bear arms,” added Sheriff Lewis. “If they attempt to do that it will be an all-out civil war. Because I will stand toe-to-toe with my people.”
Mike Lewis is part of a growing movement of law enforcement officials that willfully ignore gun control laws, represented by organizations like the Oath Keepers and the Constitutional Sheriffs and Peace Officers Association.
And Sheriff Lewis has been at this fight for some time. When the Maryland law, known as the firearms safety act, was being debated by the state legislator in 2013, the sheriff publicly opposed the bill. The law, which was passed later that year, bans 45 types of firearms. It also requires gun owners to pass a gun training course and give their fingerprints to the authorities. It also limits magazine sizes to 10 rounds and prohibits gun ownership for those that have been involuntarily committed to a mental health facilities.
Mike Lewis received numerous accolades from the public for opposing the law.
But not everyone is happy with the sheriff’s pledge to ignore the gun laws.
Maryland Senator Brian Frosh, who sponsored the bill feels that the officer is going outside his responsibilities:
“It’s not up to a sheriff to decide what’s constitutional and what isn’t. That’s what our courts are for.”
The movement itself is under even harsher criticism.
The Southern Poverty Law Center, a civil rights nonprofit, classifies both the Oath Keepers and the Constitutional Sheriffs and Peace Officers Association as extremist groups on their list of anti-government “patriot” groups. The two organizations earned that reputation through alledged ties to criminals, such as a suspect in the Las Vegas shooting.
Is the sheriff’s conviction to ignore gun control laws patriotic negligent? The people of Maryland will decide in the next election cycle.
[Image Credit: Sydney Stavinoha/New21]]