FORT COLLINS, Colo. - The Republican sheriff of Larimer County says he won't enforce federal laws that he considers unconstitutional.
Following recent mass shootings, President Barack Obama has proposed requiring background checks for all gun sales.
Larimer County Sheriff Justin Smith posted on Facebook that he wouldn't allow unconstitutional proposals to stand. Smith wrote that the only way to achieve universal background checks for private gun sales would be to register every firearm, which would mean people who fail to register could be defined as criminals. He contends the federal government will then start targeting and prosecuting Americans who are simply exercising their constitutional right to bear arms.
"I encourage thinking citizens of all political affiliations, or no political affiliation, to carefully and logically follow the shell game that is occurring before their very eyes," Smith wrote on his Facebook page. "The only possible way to achieve 'universal background checks' for private transactions of lawfully-owned firearms is to register every single firearm in existence in our nation. Otherwise, the federal government could never prove the transaction of a firearm.
"Anyone who fails to go through with such registration will be defined as a criminal by our federal government. That same government, which all too often has failed to enforce the current laws against criminal predators, will then start to discriminately target and prosecute law-abiding Americans who are simply exercising their Constitutionally recognized Right to keep and bear arms.
"Statutes define the specific duties of the Sheriff, but through tradition and law, it is clear, the Sheriff's duties include the absolute obligation to protect the Rights of the citizens of the county, and the Sheriff is accountable directly to those citizens. The Colorado Sheriff occupies this independent office which is not a subservient department of county, state or federal government."
Smith told The Coloradoan that people should read his entire post.
"Let them read the whole thing and draw their own conclusions," he said.
Congressional action is needed for Obama's proposal.