The founder of a sheriffs association is encouraging sheriffs across the nation to defy federal overreach, particularly on gun control.
Richard Mack – a former sheriff of Graham County, Arizona – formed the Constitutional Sheriffs and Peace Officers Association (CSPOA) in 2011 with the goal of getting a quarter of the nation’s 3,080 sheriffs to join. Mack sees the feds as “the greatest threat we face today” and sees his entourage of several hundred sheriffs as “the army to set our nation free.”
It goes without saying that most Americans would find Mack’s rhetoric problematic when it comes to openly defying the federal government’s directives. According to Mack, even though law enforcement is tasked with – as their title suggests – enforcing the law, that doesn’t mean that police should enforce bad – or, unconstitutional – laws.
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For example, Mack stated at a recent police training event that “gun control is against the law,” since – as the former sheriff would say – any regulation on guns violates the 2nd Amendment. If it’s unconstitutional, Mack would encourage members of his sheriffs association to actively prevent any federal agent from enforcing such a law.
He compared enforcing bad laws today to the officer who arrested Rosa Parks and the offices in Nazi Germany. In an interview with Washington Post reporter Tom Jackman, Richard Mack explained:
“The cop who arrested Rosa Parks said, ‘The law is the law.’ The officers at Nuremberg said the same thing, ‘We were just following orders.’ Well the court determined that following orders when you’re committing a crime, or genocide, doesn’t cut it. We say the same thing. Do not say, ‘I’m just following orders.’ Do what’s right. We stand for people being abused. I don’t care if it’s gun rights, land rights, Amish rights, the federal government should not get a free pass and we should stand against their abuses.”
Mack’s nullification solution is a last resort:
“[W]hen you have no place else to go, when all the courts are against you, all the legislators are against you, where else do you go? I believe to the local county sheriff…and if that means standing against the federal government, then so damn be it.”