The Ottumwa Courier

March 14, 2013

Calling all sheriffs

Gun rights activists gather signatures to push sheriffs to not uphold proposed federal gun laws

CHELSEA DAVIS
Courier Staff Writer

OTTUMWA — Groups across the nation circulated petitions to show their local sheriffs that there is public support for law enforcement to not uphold proposed federal gun laws.

Chris Pitt, the Wapello County organizer for Operation Sheriff Reach, was at Bridge View Center Wednesday morning getting signatures “to convince the sheriff to not enforce new federal gun laws.”

Pitt was referring to a proposal by President Barack Obama to ban semi-automatic assault weapons and high-capacity ammunition magazines.

Operation Sheriff Reach is a movement by Gun Rights Across America, a “citizen-led, grassroots effort to protect and promote the Second Amendment on a local, state and federal level.”

“The laws on the books are enough for us,” Pitt said. “Because like anything else they try to ban, they’re still there. These laws are not going to take them off the streets.”

But Wapello County Sheriff Mark Miller said he can’t be picky when it comes to the law.

“I’m not going to be selective about the laws I choose to enforce,” Miller said, who referenced the oath he just took a few months ago, where he pledged to uphold the U.S. and Iowa Constitutions. “Not everyone is going to like every legislative proposal. What they do in D.C. is out of my control. I intend to enforce all laws.”

Pitt said he has not yet spoken with Miller, but he plans to get as many signatures as possible to present to the sheriff. As of Wednesday morning, Pitt had four petitions half-full with signatures.

Everyone in Iowa is also still trying to get used to the permit to carry a concealed weapon law, Miller said, which took effect just two years ago.

Pitt said he hasn’t heard any resistance to his efforts yet.