The Bastrop County sheriff says he will not enforce new gun laws, nor will he allow in other agencies to enforce federal laws that he deems unconstitutional.
Sheriff Terry Pickering posted a letter expressing his views on the sheriff's office Facebook page Monday. The purpose, he says, was to answer a dozen emails and letters that he received from citizens.
View the sheriff's letter here: https://www.facebook.com/BastropCountySO
"I'm not going to enforce any law that is deemed unconstitutional. Nor will I allow anybody else to do it, whether it's my deputies, city police, the state police federal agents, I don't care who it is. I'm not going to sit idly by why I knowingly allow someone to violate a person's constitutional rights. I'm not going to do it," Pickering said.
Pickering joins other sheriffs across the country who are standing strong against the president's proposals to ban assault weapons and limit gun magazines.
"I think that's my biggest fear is that by executive order or peoples' panic towards one particular incident they think there's a specific solution and then they start passing laws and ultimately those laws end up violating our residents rights or bill of rights," Pickering said.
The sheriff's Facebook post has gained more than 350 likes. It's also generating a lot of conversation. The majority are positive--much like people told us.
"It was really brave. He played on the safe side of brave, but yes," Jeanna Watson said.
"I totally support the sheriff. We're big gun owners here. We're pro-gun. My grandparents, my parents, I grew up around guns. We support our law enforcement. We don't want the government telling us what we can or can't do," said Bill Rice.
Some aren't so supportive. Donna Wardell Knight wrote on the county's Facebook page, "you shall never have my vote again. Anyone but you."
"Ultimately, if congress passes legislation and says this law goes into effect, I'm sure there will be a lawsuit over it and I would be happy to join in on that lawsuit," Pickering said. "But once the courts rule there's no constitutional violation then at that point I feel I have an oath and obligation to uphold that law."