Meet the Rogue Sheriffs Who Won't Enforce Obama's Gun Proposals

Obama and Biden met with a group of sheriffs and police chiefs this afternoon, calling them a representation of law-enforcement officials across the country. But the truly not gun-shy are these 100-something sheriffs — and counting.

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President Obama and Vice-President Biden met with a group of sheriffs and police chiefs this afternoon, calling them a representation of law-enforcement officials across the country as the administration continues pushing new gun policies. "I know that this is not a shy group," Obama said before sitting down with 13 cops from the sites of massacre (Newtown, Aurora, Tuscon) and all-too-regular gun related violence (Chicago, Philadelphia). But the truly not gun-shy are the more than 90 sheriffs — and counting — from across gun-rights America unified in their vow to oppose Obama's executive actions as well as measures headed for heated debate in Congress.

"No group is more important for us to listen to than our law enforcement officials," Obama said. "They are where the rubber hits the road." It appears, however, that on the ground in places like Arizona, Colorado, Utah, and beyond, sheriffs may be the better measure of outspoken law enforcement. For instance, Obama met with the police chief of Salt Lake City, Utah, but nearly every sheriff in that entire state thinks doesn't agree with the administration. Here's a roundup of the standout sheriffs who, based on a legal interpretations of the constitution or not, say they'll be disobeying the president and Washington:

All the sheriffs in Utah (except for Salt Lake County Sheriff Jim Winder) think firearms aren't the problem

With the number of mass shootings America has endured, it is easy to demonize firearms; it is also foolish and prejudiced ... Firearms are nothing more than instruments, valuable and potentially dangerous, but instruments nonetheless.

Sheriff John Cooke of Colorado's Weld County says he doesn't have the resources

I'm not going to help him in any way ... I'm not going to enforce it because it's unenforceable and because I don't have the resources. The federal government doesn't have the resources.

Arizona Sheriff Paul Bebeu (who once had hopes for a seat in Congress) thinks guns are like cars:

America has seen an even higher number of our citizens killed by impaired drivers involved in automobile collisions. Why are you not seeking to remove vehicles from our roadways?'s because you realize it's the drivers who are at fault and not the vehicle they were driving. This same analogy holds true with these's not the gun that's at fault but rather the criminals who use them. Do you honestly feel that any criminal or someone who is mentally ill will obey an executive order made by you related to "gun control?" Criminals get their name, because they don't follow our laws already Mr. President.

Those sheriffs are just a small part of a bigger group — nearly 100 have now signed on to a petition to oppose Obama's gun initiatives by the Constitutional Sheriffs and Peace Officers Association. CSPOA, formed in 2011, is run by pro-gun rights former Arizona Sheriff Richard Mack. Mack and his organizations were identified by Southern Poverty Law Center,as an anti-government group and part of the "Patriot" movement. They wrote in their winter 2012 report:

Over the past two years, Mack has been working to bring county sheriffs nationwide into the fold of the Patriot movement. He formed the Constitutional Sheriffs and Peace Officers Association in 2011 to advance the principle that sheriffs must resist the government.

And CSPOA's website reads:

The county sheriff is the line in the sand. The county sheriff is the one who can say to the feds, “Beyond these bounds you shall not pass.” This is not only within the scope of the sheriff’s authority; it’s the sheriff’s sworn duty

Below is the current list of Sheriffs who have signed the CSPOA's pledge against Obama's gun initiatives, which doesn't come loaded with many specifics about executive actions as opposed to actual legislation, but does have this here angry video:


1. Utah Sheriff’s Association

2. New Mexico Sheriff’s Association (30 out of 33 sheriffs)


1. Sheriff Glenn E. Palmer - Grant County, Oregon

2. Sheriff Gil Gilbertson – Josephine County, Oregon

3. Sheriff Tim Mueller – Linn County, Oregon

4. Sheriff Adam Christianson – Stanislaus County, California

5. Sheriff Brad A. DeLay – Lawrence County, Missouri

6. Sheriff Charles M. Heiss – Johnson County, Missouri

7. Sheriff Steve Cox - Livingston County, Missouri

8. Sheriff Jon Lopey – Siskiyou County, California

9. Sheriff Craig Zanni – Coos County, Oregon

10. Sheriff John Hanlin - Douglas County, Oregon

11. Sheriff John Bishop – Curry County, Oregon

12. Sheriff Larry Blanton - Deschutes County, Oregon

13. Sheriff Jim Hensley – Crook County, Oregon

14. Sheriff Denny Peyman – Jackson County, Kentucky

15. Sheriff Roy Klingler – Madison County, Idaho

16. Sheriff Blake Dorning – Madison County, Alabama

17. Sheriff Justin Smith – Larimer County, Colorado

18. Sheriff Al Cannon – Charleston County, South Carolina

19. Sheriff Ana Franklin – Morgan County, Alabama

20. Sheriff Andy Hughes – Houston County, Alabama

21. Sheriff Stacy Nicholson – Gilmer County, Georgia

22. Sheriff Robin Cole – Pine County, Minnesota

23. Sheriff Bill Snyder – Martin County, Florida

24. Sheriff Ed Kilgpore – Humboldt County, Nevada

25. Sheriff Tom Bosenko – Shasta County, California

26. Sheriff John D’Agostini – El Dorado County, California

27. Sheriff David Hencraft – Tehama County, California

28. Sheriff Dean Growden – Lassen County, California

29. Sheriff Dean Wilson – Del Norte County, California

30. Sheriff Mike Poindexter – Modoc County, California

31. Sheriff Thomas Allman - Mendocino County, California

32. Sheriff Mike Downey - Humboldt County, California

33. Sheriff Larry Smith - Smith County, Texas

34. Sheriff Kieran Donahue - Canyon County, Idaho

35. Sheriff Margaret Mims – Fresno County, California

36. Sheriff Pat Garrett – Washington County, Oregon

37. Sheriff Dan Staton – Multnomah County, Oregon

38. Sheriff Scott Mascher - Yavapai County, Arizona

39. Sheriff Micahel A. Helmig - Boone County, Ohio

40. Sheriff A.J. Rodenberg - Clermont County, Ohio

41. Sheriff Terry Maketa - El Paso County, Colorado

42. Sheriff John Cooke - Weld County, Colorado

43. Sheriff Scott Berry - Oconee County, Georgia

44. Sheriff Frank Denning – Johnson County, Kansas

45. Sheriff Stan Hilkey – Mesa County, Colorado

46. Sheriff Terry Box – Collin County, Texas

47. Sheriff Chuck Wright  - Spartanburg County, South Carolina

48. Sheriff Greg Hagwood - Plumas County, California

49. Sheriff Frank McKeithen - Bay County, Florida

50. Sheriff Roger Garrison - Cherokee County, Georgia

51. Sheriff Tony Desmond - Schoharie County, New York

52. Sheriff Richard Devlin Jr. – Otsego County, New York

53. Sheriff Bruce Haney – Trinity County, California

54. Sheriff Wayne DeWitt - Berkeley County, South Carolina

55. Sheriff Bob ‘Big Block’ Colbert – Wagoner County, Oklahoma

56. Sheriff Joel W. Richardson – Randall County, Texas

57. Sheriff Mike Scott – Lee County, Florida

58. Sheriff Mike Winters – Jackson County, Oregon

59. Sheriff Brian Wolfe – Malheur County, Oregon

60. Sheriff Cameron M. Noel – Beaver County, Utah

61. Sheriff Tom Rummel – Sanders County, Montana 

62. Sheriff Jeff Christopher – Sussex County, Delaware

63. Sheriff Brad Rogers, Elkhart County, Indiana

64. Sheriff David Edmunds – Summit County, Utah

65. Sheriff James Tracy – Utah County, Utah

66. Sheriff Robert Dekker – Millard County, Utah

67. Sheriff Frank Park – Tooele County, Utah

68. Sheriff J. Lynn Yeates – Box Elder County, Utah

69. Sheriff G. Lynn Nelson – Chache County, Utah

70. Sheriff James Cordova – Carbon County, Utah

71. Sheriff Jerry Jorgensen – Daggett County, Utah

72. Sheriff Todd Richardson – Davis County, Utah

73. Sheriff Travis Mitchell – Duchesne County – Utah

74. Sheriff Greg Funk – Emery County, Utah

75. Sheriff James D. Perkins – Garfield County, Utah

76. Sheriff Steven White – Grand County, Utah

77. Sheriff Mark Gower – Iron County, Utah

78. Sheriff Alden Orme – Juab County, Utah

79. Sheriff Lamont Smith – Kane County, Utah

80. Sheriff Blaine Breshears – Morgan County, Utah

81. Sheriff Marty Gleave – Puite County, Utah

82. Sheriff Dale Stacey – Rich County, Utah

83. Sheriff Rick Eldredge – San Juan County, Utah

84. Sheriff Brian Nielson – Sanpete County, Utah

85. Sheriff Nathan Curtis – Sevier County, Utah

86. Sheriff Jeff Merrell – Uintah County, Utah

87. Sheriff Todd Bonner – Wasatch County, Utah

88. Sheriff Cory Pulsipher – Washington County, Utah

89. Sheriff Kurt Taylor – Wayne County, Utah

90. Sheriff Terry Thompson – Weber County, Utah

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.