Editor's note: the following is an opinion written by Cherokee County Sheriff Roger Garrison. It does not in any way reflect the views and opinions of Patch.
In the aftermath of the recent criminal events, the president, vice-president and many members of Congress are attempting to exploit the deaths of innocent victims by attempting to enact laws, restrictions; and, even through use of executive orders, prevent law-abiding American citizens from possessing certain firearms and ammunition magazines.
As the duly-elected sheriff of Cherokee County, I want you to know and understand my position on this issue. I am a strong supporter of the Second Amendment.
In Georgia, as in most states, sheriffs are elected constitutional officers. Duly elected sheriffs are held accountable by no one other than the electorate of their respective counties.
There is only one exception, in those extreme emergencies during which the governor of the state of Georgia issues a written declaration of emergency.
With this in mind, no one other than the governor in a declared state of emergency can tell the county sheriff what to do or command their deputies and personnel into action.
We are empowered to enforce all state laws and have NO authority or duty to enforce any federal law or mandate.
The President and/or any other federal official has no authority to order the County Sheriff to do anything. This interpretation is not new. It has been the law of the land since these United States of America came into existence.
On December 27, 2012, my oath of office was administered by our Probate Judge (Keith Wood), with the final sentence stating, ". . . and that I will support the Constitution of the United States and of this State, so help me God."
Therefore, I will fully exercise the power of the Office of Sheriff to protect and defend the Constitutional rights of the citizens of Cherokee County. My position is best stated by fellow Sheriff Tim Muller of Linn County, Oregon in his letter to the President. "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 no laws."
Along with Sheriff Muller, other sheriffs throughout the country (including Georgia) and I, will not enforce any laws or regulations that negate the constitutional rights of the citizens of Cherokee County.
Nor shall those laws and regulations be enforced by me or by my deputies, nor will I permit the enforcement of any unconstitutional regulations or orders by federal officers within the borders of Cherokee County, Georgia.