(NaturalNews) Local sheriffs are the preeminent legal authority in the country and have the power, by constitutional design, to prevent or refuse enforcement of federal statutes which violate the U.S. Constitution or their oaths of office, according to one former sheriff who has battled the Feds over gun laws and won.
Richard Mack, the one-time sheriff of Graham County, Ariz., said in a recent interview with WorldNetDaily.com that he joined with then-Rivalli County Sheriff Jay Printz in a successful lawsuit against the federal government during President Clinton's terms during the 1990s to oppose provisions of the Brady Bill gun-control law.
Since winning that battle, Mack has been a leader in the movement emphasizing the roles and responsibilities of local sheriffs. And now that gun control is once again at the forefront of domestic policy, both inside the Obama White House and Congress, Mack says once more that hope remains in local law enforcement.
'I hope and pray sheriffs won't allow anymore gun control'
"Gun control is illegal, and it's against the Constitution," Mack said, noting that the process of opposing such mandates and laws is not a complicated process. "What people don't realize is that the Second Amendment was designed to protect us from the power of the federal government."
Mack said he expects elected county sheriffs across the country to defend the rights of their constituents.
"I hope and pray America's sheriffs won't allow anymore gun control. The sheriffs need to be united in letting the federal government know that we're not going to allow it," he told WND.
"In the '90s when I was the sheriff of Graham County, Ariz., we worked with other sheriffs and stopped two or three Brady Bills," he said, a legal battle he talks about in seminars with sheriffs.
The office of county sheriff is crucial, Mack says, not just because it is a law enforcement position but because it is an elected law enforcement position, making sheriffs directly answerable to the people they serve.
"Out of 200 sheriffs with whom I've met," Mack told WND, "I've only had one give me a wishy washy answer. That one said he would try to take the federal government to court. Most of them have said they would lay down their lives first rather than allow any more federal control. They also said they would do everything they could to stop gun control and gun confiscation."
That same sentiment appears to be generally shared among law enforcement personnel, some of whom shared it recently with NaturalNews founder and Editor Mike Adams. In discussing whether they would follow federal orders to confiscate guns, one retired police captain said such an order would be "a suicide mission" and that most cops would simply resign on the spot rather than carry it out (http://www.naturalnews.com).
Local sheriffs are empowered with much more authority than many think
But Mack was about more than just protecting his constituents from unconstitutional gun laws.
While Richard Mack was sheriff of Graham County, Ariz., a bridge washed out. Parents had to drive twenty-six miles to get their kids to school half a mile across the river. But the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers wouldn't fix it. First they had to do an "environmental impact study," to replace a bridge already there. They were in no hurry. The study would take a mere ten years. The people's suffering reached the board of supervisors. The board voted to dredge the river and fix the bridge. The feds warned that they would be fined $50,000 per day if they tried. The supervisors hesitated. Sheriff Mack promised them and the workers protection and pledged to call out a posse for the purpose if necessary. They built the bridge and the Corps of Engineers faded. The board never paid a dime.
The point Mack is making is that, constitutionally, local sheriffs have much more power than they are given credit, and as such serve as Americans' last, best line of defense against federal tyranny. Sources for this article include: