CACHE COUNTY, Utah — In response to President Joe Biden's plans to implement gun control policies, Cache County's sheriff is assuring residents that he will never enforce anything that infringes upon their constitutional rights.
"Unconstitutional gun control in any measure will not happen in Cache County on my watch," Sheriff Chad Jensen wrote Friday in a press release.
Jensen did not, however, specifically state whether he believes Biden's proposed legislation or executive orders are unconstitutional.
On Thursday, Biden announced plans to sign a multi-faceted executive order aimed at reducing gun violence in the United States — which he called an "epidemic" and an "embarrassment to the world."
Biden's order would take the following actions:
- Order the Justice Department, within 30 days, to issue a proposed rule to help stop the proliferation of “ghost guns," which are guns that lack proper serial numbers
- Order the Justice Department, within 60 days, to issue a proposed rule to make clear when a device marketed as a stabilizing brace effectively turns a pistol into a short-barreled rifle subject to the requirements of the National Firearms Act
- Order Justice Department, within 60 days, to publish model “red flag” legislation for states
- Order his administration to invest in evidence-based community violence interventions
- Order the Justice Department to issue an annual report on firearms trafficking
Biden also called on Congress to pass gun-control measures such as:
- Limiting high-capacity magazines
- Requiring background checks at gun shows
- Closing the "Charleston loophole," the "boyfriend loophole" and additional background check loopholes
In Jensen's statement, he pointed out that Utah does already have some laws that prevent certain citizens from owning or possessing firearms, such as convicted felons, domestic abusers and others.
He also stated that state and federal laws generally do not allow state law enforcement officers to enforce federal laws, and vice versa.
"As your Sheriff, I would like to address recent statements by President Biden concerning executive orders and the national discussion concerning gun control legislation.
"I want all of our residents to know I believe earnestly ALL of our constitutional rights are guaranteed, and these rights are what make our country unique and the greatest place on earth to live, work and raise our families. These rights that guarantee our freedoms are what I, as your elected sheriff, and our entire law enforcement family took an oath to support, obey, and defend.
"Recently, President Biden talked about several proposed measures of gun control and plans to sign executive orders. Unconstitutional gun control in any measure will not happen in Cache County on my watch. Our state has laws already in place that would prohibit some of our citizens from owning or possessing firearms (i.e., citizens convicted of felony offenses, citizens who have an active protective order, those convicted of domestic violence, people who have certified mental health conditions and known drug users just to name a few).
"I have always supported and wholeheartedly enforced all constitutionally-sound laws that deter and penalize gun violence. It is critical we continue to work to keep firearms out of the hands of those who would use them to commit acts of violence against our citizens.
"As your sheriff, I will always stand and fight for ALL your constitutional rights. I stand at the forefront of this county to protect your rights from government overreach. State and federal law in most cases does not allow state law enforcement officers to enforce federal law nor does it allow federal law enforcement to enforce states' laws.
"We currently have a great symbiotic working relationship with our federal law enforcement partners working jointly in areas of child pornography cases, theft and fraud, kidnapping, homicide and many other horrible and violent crimes. Without this relationship, many of these types of cases would create more victims as offender's [sic] cross state lines or their crimes originate from another country. Our federal partners support our local agencies as we support them in protecting the citizens of our county and state.
"With that said, I will never support any action from the federal government or anyone else infringing on the rights we are all guaranteed through our constitution. We live in the greatest country, the greatest state and by far the greatest county in the nation. We live in a county where neighbors continue to have tolerance and compassion for one another. We gratefully live in a county supportive of their law enforcement and harbor a collective goal to sustain what we have. We have local elected officials who work diligently to protect the lifestyle we love and enjoy.
"Please know you have a sheriff and an entire office who swore to uphold, protect and defend the constitution of this state and of our nation. My deputies and I are truly blessed to serve you in this community."