(NaturalNews) During America's Civil War, the state of Kentucky remained a "border state," one geographically situated between the North and South and which remained officially neutral in the conflict. Now; however, a Kentucky sheriff is choosing sides over the Second Amendment, stating plainly that he has no intention of bowing to any federal demand or effort to seize lawfully owned firearms.
In an impassioned town hall-style speech to local residents, Jackson County Sheriff Denny Peyman sought to reassure constituents who helped put him in office that as long as he remained there, any federal laws requiring the confiscation of firearms would be ignored in his jurisdiction.
'I couldn't justify' confiscating guns
"You'll understand me very well when you leave here today, and why we're all still going to have our guns here in Jackson," he said during opening comments.
"I am responsible for the people inside this county... I couldn't justify, if [President] Obama passes this, it doesn't matter what he passes, the sheriff has more power than the federal people," Peyman said, in conveying what many federal and state authorities know to be an inconvenient truth.
"They need to go back and study that. We are a commonwealth. I can ask federal people to leave, they have to leave. I can ask state people to leave, they have to leave," he said, drawing on constitutional and legal principles and precedent that county sheriffs are the ultimate law of the land in their counties.
"I am the highest elected official in this county, and this is the only opportunity the people have to speak for themselves and say, 'This is what we want,'" he told his audience.
Elitists in Washington, in academia and in the press will dispute Peyman's claims. But hundreds of years of legal precedent prove him correct.
Former Sheriff Richard Mack, a noted expert on this legal principle writes:
The office of sheriff has a long and noble history. It dates back over a thousand years and originated in England. The sheriff is the only elected law enforcement official in America. He is the last line of defense for his citizens. He is the people's protector. He is the keeper of the peace, he is the guardian of liberty and the protector of rights. A vast majority of sheriffs will agree with all of this until they are asked to apply these principles of protection to federal criminals ... The truth and stark reality is...the sheriff has ultimate authority and law enforcement power within his jurisdiction.
Peyman, referring to an interview he recently conducted, added, "They asked, 'How are you going to pull these guns?' and I said, 'You are never going to pull a gun from Jackson County."
In a separate interview with the Lexington Herald-Leader, a local paper, he said of his duty, "I consider this a moral obligation... My office will not comply with any federal actions which violate the United States Constitution or the Kentucky Constitution which I swore to uphold."
'Will I' uphold my oath of office?
In yet another interview with WKYT, Peyman talked about what could happen if federal officials tried to disarm the people of his county.
"We'll see when push comes to shove. It's going to have to go into the courtrooms," he said. "It's not going to be, I mean we don't want a bloodbath in our community when they come in to take guns. It's going to have to be taken care of in a court room before it gets to that point."
He also said that "the only thing I've ever told people if someone is kicking or coming in their front door, is I only have to listen to one side of the story."
Local law enforcement officials - county sheriffs, chiefs of police - will not necessarily be asked to help confiscate weapons, if it comes to that. But they may be asked by the people they swore to protect to stand in defiance with them.
"Will I?" is a question these individuals should be asking themselves now. More importantly, as some have suggested, it's a question the people should be asking them.
Peyman should be commended, but in many circles he will be condemned.
"In Jackson county, as long as I am sheriff here, I got children, I got family, I got friends, I got everybody here, and I feel a whole lot better coming into a room if I know everybody is packing, than if I'm the only one, because if they take me out first, then they take everybody else out too," he said at his town hall meeting.