Sheriffs Prepare to Abandon Citizens to Federal Gun Grab16/02/2013 21:27
by Brandon Turbeville
In the wake of the highly questionable surge in school shootings and the long-awaited gun grabbing effort being promoted by the President, lawmakers, and the mainstream media, hundreds of American sheriffs have now gone on the record to state publicly that they will not enforce any new gun laws such as the ones being proposed in the halls of the U.S. Congress.
While the fact that such grassroots political pressure exists in an amount that would warrant such statement by sheriffs all across the country, the fact also remains that many of these public officials are merely cashing in on an exploitable situation to score political approval from their constituents – political approval for a stance they never intend to honor. This much is apparent to anyone who is even a casual observer of political discourse or the development of the overarching agenda inside the United States and elsewhere in the world.My case in point is Kershaw County Sheriff Jim Matthews.
Sheriff Matthews has been the subject of my articles several times in the past; once after he declared an activist to be a “domestic extremist” after the individual had merely “liked” an article on Facebook and then again after Matthews developed a program of round-the-clock checkpoints in Kershaw County, South Carolina.
Matthews’ conversion of Kershaw County into a virtual police state, as well as his continued attack on all things free, should thus have raised the suspicions as to the sincerity of many of the sheriffs who had attached their names to the “Will Not Enforce” list regarding the latest attempts at eliminating the Second Amendment.Yet, considering the positions and statements made by so many other sheriffs, Matthews own position was much more tepid when it came to actually defending Constitutional rights, a task which is clearly not the strong suit of his department and administration.
Indeed, Matthews’ position was that he was not “going to take your guns,” is an eerily similar claim which was also made by Barack Obama.
Of course, at issue is the fact that if new gun laws are passed banning assault weapons, assault weapons owners will no longer be following the law. This is why Matthews and other sheriffs were asked the question as to whether or not they would enforce such laws to begin with.
Matthews went on to ask South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson for his opinion on the coming Federal gun grab. Essentially, Matthews requested AG Wilson to explain to him his responsibility as Sheriff when faced with an unconstitutional law.
Still, Matthews stated that he does not believe sheriffs can stop federal agents from enforcing these laws in his jurisdiction.
“A lot of sheriffs want to be able to fall back on what the AG says on what we lawfully have to do or don’t have to do,” Matthews said.
That opinion has finally arrived. Unfortunately, it confirms the weakness of state governments as well as the complete disregard for Constitutional, civil, and human rights at the federal, state, and local levels.
According to Attorney General Wilson, if federal law enforcement officers attempt to enforce unconstitutional gun laws or even confiscate existing weapons, then neither state law nor state law enforcement officials can stand in the way. Going further, Wilson suggests that, if state or local law enforcement officials do attempt to impede federal assaults on the rights of South Carolinians, these state law enforcement officials would themselves be subject to criminal prosecution.
Yet Wilson’s opinion goes even further than stating that state and local law enforcement are unable to actually protect the rights of their citizens from federal assaults, it claims that federal agents are granted a type of immunity from state prosecution even if they are clearly violating Constitutional rights.The opinion states that “federal agents are immune from state prosecution even when their conduct violated internal agency regulations or exceeded their express authority.”
This is quite a concerning statement to say the least. As the Kershaw County Patriots (KCP) wrote in the article, “SC Attorney General: Come Get The Guns!”
This means that an agent could come to your home, break into your home, ransack the place, seize anything, all without a warrant and he would be immune from state prosecution or even interference with his ransacking.
KCP continues by writing,
Instead of protecting citizens sheriffs, with the AG’s blessing, will stand down and let it happen. Matthews has been quoted saying ‘I’m not going to take your guns’ but he did not tell the people he will instead stand by and watch as federal agents seize weapons. In fact if a citizen was to refuse to give up his weapons to federal agents the sheriff would be forced to protect that federal agent from any action impeding the enforcement of federal law.
Yet, where Wilson’s opinion truly falls apart is his statement “…that the Department (Kershaw County Sheriff’s dept.) should neither interfere with nor otherwise attempt to impede federal law enforcement officers as they perform their lawful duties to enforce federal laws, and who act necessary and proper within federal authority.”
Simply reading this statement out of context would not ordinarily provide any reason for concern. Indeed, no department should interfere or attempt to impede federal law enforcement simply attempting to perform their lawful duties. However, this is precisely the issue.
Are unconstitutional gun laws “lawful duties?” Are gun confiscation programs “lawful duties?”
KCP asks the same questions. The organization writes,
Again, would some sort, any sort, of gun confiscation at a state or federal level be ‘lawful’? Think about it like this, if the federal government passed a law requiring every American to sign over their property would federal agents coming to remove you from your home be a part of their ‘lawful duties’ and would that be ‘necessary and proper’?
Even when discussing the repercussions of interfering with federal law enforcement agents who are carrying out unconstitutional laws, Wilson, citing the Supremacy Clause of the United States Constitution, states,
…under the Supremacy Clause of the United States Constitution, neither state law nor state law officials may interfere with or otherwise impede federal law enforcement officers as they perform their lawful duties. We further advise that conduct intending to impede the discharge of the lawful duties of federal law enforcement officials may expose such persons to criminal liability.
Indeed, while Wilson and sheriffs like Jim Matthews have interpreted, heard, and repeated exactly what they wanted to hear, the operative phrase in this statement is “lawful duties.” What is so concerning here, is that elected officials who are supposed to be well versed in the law and who are tasked with evaluating and enforcing that law for the benefit and protection of the citizens of South Carolina can interpret the passage and enforcement of laws eviscerating the Second Amendment, even to the point of gun confiscation, as a “lawful duty” of federal agents. Thus, one must ask themselves if these agents of the State are truly as interested in upholding the law as they may pretend to be.
Of course, as I mentioned earlier, no one who was even vaguely familiar with Sheriff Jim Matthews was truly fooled into believing that he ever intended to stand up for the rights of Kershaw County residents.
Indeed, Sheriff Matthews and the overwhelming majority (most likely all) American sheriffs are enforcing unconstitutional gun laws on a daily basis. While the cries of the need to “enforce the gun laws we already have” may seem reasonable, the fact is that these gun laws are themselves unconstitutional.
Unfortunately, while many of these sheriffs may very well have the best interest of their citizens at heart, and may very well mean what they say in regards to their refusal to enforce any new federal gun laws, the reality is that they have no problem enforcing similarly unconstitutional gun laws today or even caging an entirely peaceful person for years simply because that person is in possession of a harmless plant.
As KCP state in their article,
The sheriff, duly elected by the people, has as his one and only job to protect the individual rights of every person within the county. That is his only duty. Everything he is supposed to do is an effort to help residents protect their rights. Sheriffs should be training residents and promoting that every citizen be armed and ready to defend themselves and their neighbors from violators of those rights. These duties do not however stop when the federal government comes knocking, in fact that is when the sheriff is needed most. If your sheriff says he cannot or will not stop federal agents from coming for your guns he is not performing his duty and should be removed, by force if necessary, and if he won’t, go get out the tar and feathers and make a chicken out of him. County residents will be left with little choice indeed if their sheriff will not stand to protect them. South Carolinians should be very concerned as this opinion, statements by many sheriffs, and the strings that now tie sheriffs hands, leave them without any protection from a tyrannical government save what they can provide for themselves.
The writing is on the wall, tyranny is coming like a storm on the horizon. The battle lines are being drawn. Your sheriff, if he is like these, is not your friend — in fact, is now a partner with the despotic federal government.
We must always support law enforcement when they choose to make the right decision. We must express our support for any sheriff that truly intends to stand up to the federal or state governments in the event that they attempt to use their own agents for the purpose of violating our rights.
However, let us not fool ourselves into believing we are witnessing a law enforcement revolution of freedom. Make no mistake about it, we are alone in this fight.
Read other articles by Brandon Turbeville here.