Davis Co. Sheriff talks gun control in town hall forum

Posted at 10:04 PM, Jan 24, 2013
and last updated 2013-01-25 00:31:18-05

FARMINGTON, Utah - Davis County Sheriff Todd Richardson is hoping to ease people's concerns about gun control.

He hosted a town hall meeting where he articulated his position on the issue, defending a recent letter sent by the Utah Sheriff's Association as a "line in the sand," but also urging people not to panic that the government will come and take their guns.

"I think that's a long way off," Richardson said Thursday. "I think there's a lot of debate and discussion that's going to take place in congress. My personal feeling is it's very unlikely that it'll happen."

For an hour, the sheriff and Rep. Curt Oda, R-Clearfield, took questions from people about gun control proposals, presidential executive orders and gun legislation. Rep. Oda expressed concerns that any proposed legislation dealing with the mentally ill is too vague; Sheriff Richardson said he didn't disagree with everything President Obama has proposed -- but also questioned how it would be funded or enforced.

Richardson urged the crowd to have a say in what gun laws are passed by speaking to their elected lawmakers.

Speaking on Thursday at his monthly news conference on KUED, Gov. Gary Herbert weighed in on recent gun control topics. The governor said emotions are running too high on both sides.

"I think we need to adhere to the law, and whatever the law is, we as a state will adhere to it," Herbert said. "Nobody is above the law. Again, if we have laws that are passed that are unconstitutional and if there's legitimate concern that executive orders… we need to fight that in court and change the law."

The governor also suggested the Utah Sheriff's Association letter was an overreaction. Richardson disagreed.

"It's not an overreaction as much as it is informing that legislative branch exactly what our position is," the sheriff said.

Related story:
Utah Sheriffs take stance on gun control