Sheriff Investigating Oregon Shooting Wrote Anti-Gun Reform Letter To Joe Biden

October 1st 2015

Kyle Jaeger

John Hanlin, the Douglas County Sheriff who appeared before the nation making the first official statement on the mass shooting in Roseburg, Oregon, was also one of hundreds of sheriffs who took a stand against gun reform legislation in 2013, Mother Jones reported. At the time, there was a push to change gun laws in the wake of the shooting that killed 20 children and six staff members at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut.

The sheriff went as far to say that he would not enforce any gun law that he believed to be unconstitutional.


Letter to VP

In a letter addressed to Vice President Joe Biden on January 15, 2013, Hanlin suggested that passing gun control measures would represent a violation of the Second Amendment, and he requested that the federal government not "tamper with or attempt to amend" the law.

"Gun control is NOT the answer to preventing heinous crimes like school shootings," he wrote. "Any actions against, or in disregard for our U.S. Constitution and 2nd Amendment rights by the current administration would be irresponsible and an indisputable insult to the American people."

He went on to say that he fully agreed with Linn County Sheriff Tim Mueller, who had written a letter to Biden weeks earlier. Hanlin quoted a passage from that letter:

"In the wake of recent criminal events, politicians are attempting to exploit the death of innocent victims by advocating for laws that would prevent honest, law abiding Americans from possessing certain firearms and ammunition magazines. We are Americans. We must not allow, nor shall we tolerate, the actions of criminals, no matter how heinous the crimes, to prompt politicians to enact laws that will infringe upon the liberties of responsible citizens who have broken now laws."

The sheriff said that he would be violating his constitutional oath by enforcing an "unconstitutional directive," referring to any laws that seemingly undermine citizens' right to bear arms.

More than two years later—at press conferences held hours after the Oregon shooting—Hanlin made no comments about gun reform or the importance of upholding the Second Amendment. Instead, he acknowledged that what happened was nothing short of a tragedy and simply provided information to the public as it became available.

This is the 15th time Pres. Obama has made a statement on mass shootings during his presidency.

Posted by ATTN: on Thursday, October 1, 2015