According to press reports, Governor Gary Herbert recommends that Utahns comply with the new federal gun control executive actions and laws until a court overturns them.
The governor also said that he thought the Utah Sheriffs’ Association had overreacted by joining over one hundred Sheriffs from around the nation in sending a letter to President Obama stating that Utah sheriffs will not enforce laws that violate a Utahn’s constitutional rights to bear arms.
In response to questions concerning Herbert’s positions on pending legislation to expand and protect gun rights in Utah, Herbert’s press office issued the following statement:
The Governor generally does not take positions on legislation, unless that legislation is initiated by our office. We will comment officially on bills only once they arrive on his desk and the Governor makes a determination based on the bill’s final content.
However, during his press conference, Herbert openly questioned the appropriateness of a bill being drafted by Rep. Brian Greene which would reportedly allow sheriffs to arrest federal agents attempting to take guns from Utahns.
Addressing a meeting of the Davis 9/12 group, Davis County Sheriff, Todd Richardson, expressed surprise at the governor’s criticism. He explained that the letter drafted by the Utah Sheriffs’ Association was designed to give federal decision-makers information that would help them in their deliberations on gun control and gun violence. Richardson pointed out that it is better to help shape legislation as it is being developed rather than to react to it after it has been enacted.
Richardson also reminded those present that Sheriffs have sworn an oath to uphold the Constitution of the United States. Their oath, therefore, precludes them from enforcing any unconstitutional laws and that is the real issue here.
In an e-mail, Herbert’s spokesperson wrote: “….with respect to the issue of firearms generally: Governor Herbert is an ardent supporter of the second amendment and has recommended that the present conversation be driven by reason and logic, rather than emotion and politics.”
Herbert’s position was for the most part criticized by those who defend the 2nd Amendment and praised by gun control advocates.
Second Amendment advocates point out that Herbert has routinely signed bills on land issues and illegal immigration that directly challenge federal authority. He also signed a bill in 2010 that prohibits state agencies or departments from implementing Obamacare unless certain conditions are met.
Comments posted on line in response to Herbert’s statements, read:
Thank goodness our own revolutionary war proved that it doesn’t take a majority to get the right thing done. He [Herbert] sounds more like the weak-kneed British appointed governors of that time.
So I guess if the sheriffs try to go through with their silly plan, they’ll be defying the governor too. I can’t wait until one of them tries it.
That’s because Gary [Herbert] is…first and foremost a politician not really willing to take a stand when it really counts if anything remotely controversial or not in vogue comes down the pike. You go Gary. We could put a blow-up doll in your chair and get the same kind of performance but at a much cheaper rate. .
Good for Herbert! Liberals have managed to adjust to the Supreme Court’s ruling that greatly expanded gun ownership. Now conservatives will have to adjust to the reality that responsible gun ownership does not necessarily mean any gun, any time, anywhere, for any reason.