(NaturalNews) Sentiment is rising among local sheriffs all across the country to take a stand against what they perceive as a wave of unconstitutional gun control laws coming down the pike, with many pledging to ignore measures that would ban certain firearms or otherwise punish law-abiding gun owners with new, onerous restrictions.
In the letter, Heiss - who said he has held his office since 1997 - expressed concern with the "tone" of the administration regarding the White House's pledge to use whatever means necessary to impose new gun control measures.
'Sworn duty' to protect the citizens and the Constitution
"It appears to me and many Americans that there is a genuine desire on the part of your administration to restrict the Second Amendment rights of law abiding American citizens in the interest of curbing gun violence in our nation," Heiss wrote. "Any attempt to restrict these Second Amendment rights through executive order is unconstitutional and tantamount to an all-out assault on the United States Constitution."
Heiss goes on to tell Obama in the letter that he has a "sworn duty" to protect his constituents not just from the criminal element, but from any federal efforts to deny them their constitutional rights.
Michael Dixon, a newly elected sheriff in Osage County, located in the central part of the state, is one of about a dozen sheriffs in Missouri who have signed Heiss' letter and sent it to Washington, CBS affiliate KMOX reported.
"On the same day the president is taking his oath to uphold the Constitution, he continues to attack our Second Amendment rights," Dixon said. "As Osage County Sheriff, I also took an oath to the Constitution, but unlike Obama, I intend to uphold mine."
Dixon also said he supported Missouri House Bill 170, which would criminalize any effort by local, state or federal law enforcement officials who tried to enforce any of the gun control measures currently under consideration by Congress or implemented by Obama as executive orders.
'The president comes from Chicago...'
"President Obama should quit his attempts to take guns out of the hands of law-abiding citizens and instead focus on stopping the criminals that will get them no matter what," Dixon said. "It is imperative we strengthen the penalty for criminals who use weapons in the commission of a crime or to cause bodily harm."
He added that his office won't enforce any new gun control proposals that violate the Bill of Rights. He also pointed to previous and existing gun control efforts and crime statistics that demonstrate gun bans don't work.
"The President comes from Chicago, the city with the strictest gun laws and worst gun violence in the country," said Dixon, according to KMOX. "It has been proven time and time again that taking guns from law abiding citizens only emboldens thugs, thieves, and rapists, not stop them from committing crimes."
Here are some other local law enforcement officials who have made similar pledges:
-- Collin County, Texas, Sheriff Terry Box has declared that neither he nor his deputies would enforce unconstitutional gun laws passed or decreed by those he calls misguided politicians.
In a statement laying out his position, Box said:
In light of recent events I feel I need to make a public statement of my views on this subject. As the Sheriff of Collin County, Texas, I have for the past 28 years served to protect and keep safe all citizens of our county, recognizing the trust placed in me with this profoundly important responsibility.
Unfortunately, the recent surge in the numbers of innocent victims who have died at the hands of unstable criminals has prompted politicians in Washington to seek to pass laws that would seriously erode the constitutional rights of innocent and law abiding citizens.
Neither I, nor any of my deputies, will participate in the enforcement of laws that violate our precious constitutional rights, including our Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms.
As long as I remain Sheriff of Collin County, I will not participate in the actions of misguided politicians who seek to impede our citizen's right to all of the privileges afforded by our Constitution.
-- Jackson County, Kentucky Sheriff Denny Peyman, during a recent town-hall style meeting, declared his unequivocal defense of the Second Amendment and the sheriff's historic role as the dominant law enforcement official in his jurisdiction:
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. 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. 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..
-- Arizona's Pinal County Sheriff Paul Babeu has sent a letter to Obama stating that he will not obey unconstitutional executive orders banning firearms.
I have sworn a solemn oath to preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States of America when I was first sworn in as an Army Private, later as an Army Officer, then as a Police Officer and now twice as the constitutionally elected Sheriff. You too, Mr. President, have taken the same oath, therefore I am gravely alarmed - just as most Americans are - that you would attempt to circumvent the Constitution of the United States.
What will your local sheriff do? Now is the time to call him and ask.