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Gwinnett Sheriff Encourages 'All Law Abiding' Citizens To Acquire Firearm Skills

Conway posts a statement in response to 'many' emails. Share your thoughts.

Adding to the local and national discussion on guns, Gwinnett Sheriff Butch Conway has released a statement in support of citizens' right to legally use firearms.

"I encourage all law abiding citizens to acquire and maintain the skills to safely carry a firearm in order to protect themselves and others," the statement reads.

Conway issued the statement under the heading 'The 2nd Amendment." The U.S Constitution's Second Amendment says, "A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed."

Also, it was in response to "the many emails received," the website says. The statement comes just over a month after the December 14, 2012, shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, Conn., that killed 20 students and six adults.

-- How do you feel about Sheriff Conway's statement? How do you feel about President Obama's stance on gun control? Share your opinions in the comments below.

"Sadly, our society contains those that will harm others when given the opportunity. An armed citizen certainly presents much less opportunity to those that would do them harm," Conway's statement concluded.

Earlier this month, President Obama proposed a series of gun-control actions in response to the Connecticut school shootings.

Also, in his inaugural address this week, Obama made a statement that some people interpret as being soft on the Second Amendment. The president said:

"Being true to our founding documents does not require us to agree on every contour of life; it does not mean we will all define liberty in exactly the same way, or follow the same precise path to happiness.  Progress does not compel us to settle centuries-long debates about the role of government for all time – but it does require us to act in our time. For now decisions are upon us, and we cannot afford delay.  We cannot mistake absolutism for principle, or substitute spectacle for politics, or treat name-calling as reasoned debate."

Also, the Gwinnett Daily Post has reported that Gwinnett's probate court received 8,610 applications in 2012 for firearms permits, up from 4,700 in 2011.

David Brown January 24, 2013 at 09:02 PM
Sheriff Conway, I am a law-abiding citizen. I will take a pass on your advice to become armed. I will continue to trust God, rather than a firearm, for my protection. Thanks, but not thanks.:)
mike puglise January 25, 2013 at 12:23 AM
David, I thank God everyday that my gun didn't misfire or jam in my three officer involved shootings. I was trained; people please take the Sheriff's advice.
David Brown January 25, 2013 at 01:55 AM
Mike, thank you for your law enforcement service to Gwinnett County and Lilburn. I was not saying police officers shouldn't have or use guns. I was expressing my inveterate personal conviction as a private citizen.
mike puglise January 25, 2013 at 03:34 AM
Thank you David. I have no problem with your decision not to be armed. Nor did I take your statement as wanting to disarm the police. The Sheriff is not promoting the reckless use and care of a firearm. He is stressing the importance of the proper handling of a firearm for those of us who wish to exercise their right. I trust in God and I trust that he has given me the discernment of self defense. Fortunately God has given us free will as we make our pilgrimage here on earth. Some wrongly choose evil. God has given me my freewill to be prepared in situations that dictate other than good intentions. Peace be with you sometimes requires a little leverage. Samson had a jaw bone of an ass and David had a sling shot. Thank God for a Colt 45. Thanks for your comments.
David Brown January 25, 2013 at 01:17 PM
Mike, I appreciate your respectful response. I still disagree with you and Sheriff Conway. I admit, though, that you're one of the few gun proponents I feel I could have an intelligent conversation with.:) God bless you.
Becky January 25, 2013 at 01:33 PM
An interesting choice of words from Sheriff Conway for sure. Perhaps had he said "I encourage all law abiding citizens who wish to carry firearms...". I think I know what he's trying to say, maybe. He's not trying to make Gwinnett like Kennesaw is he? I would like to think that all law abiding citizens that own firearms have been properly trained to use them. David, I respect your right to remain unarmed. No one should force anyone to do anything they aren't comfortable with. Even in Kennesaw, even though the law states you have to own a gun to life there, they were intelligent enough to know that not everyone would want one. Mike, thank you for your service.
mike puglise January 25, 2013 at 02:00 PM
David I commend you for standing by your convictions. A trait that is rare indeed. I do thank our Creator for the 2nd Amendment as well the 1st Amendment which allows us to have dialogue on such subjects. Travel safely my friend. Thanks Becky.
Crystal Huskey (Editor) January 25, 2013 at 02:04 PM
As an editor who often has to delete nasty comments, I appreciate you all sharing your convictions in a civil way! This is what I love about Patch.
David Brown January 25, 2013 at 02:04 PM
Becky, Kennesaw added a clause adding conscientious objectors to the list of those citizens exempt from their gun law.
hazybuck January 25, 2013 at 04:06 PM
Becky, assuming all gun owners 'have been properly trained to use them' is like assuming that anyone with a driver's license actually knows how to drive. While I agree with the spirit of the sherrif's comments, and am a gun owner, I believe there should be stricter requirements for purchase of firearms. I say this in the hope of increasing knowledge and leading to safer households all across America. I was raised in a household with guns, and actually used a weapon to defend my home from an intruder and potentially save my life and the lives of my family. I cannot imagine NOT owning a firearm, but I also can NOT imagine owning a firearm and being untrained / uneducated. My children have a healthy respect of firearms and know how to use them. In regard to David's comments. . . 1 Timothy 5:8 tells us "But if any provide not for his own, and specially for those of his own house, he hath denied the faith, and is worse than an infidel."
Becky January 25, 2013 at 04:18 PM
LOL Hazy...point well taken.
David Brown January 25, 2013 at 04:47 PM
"hazybuck", it is dangerous to use 1 Timothy 5:8 to insinuate that any kirsome man who doesn't own a firearm is irresponsible. My wife of 32 years and my two adult children will let you know I've been a good provider for them, even though I've never owned a gun.
hazybuck January 25, 2013 at 08:12 PM
David, please don't misinterpret my words. In no way would I EVER say that anyone 'should' or 'should not' own a firearm (or a pen, or a phone, or a 4 door vehicle, or a stick of gum). I site Timothy 1 5:8 as a point that even the Lord intends for us to provide for our own home and hearth. I interpret that, as is my right, to mean feed, clothe, educate, and defend me and mine in a way that is not in any way against my Faith. As my grandmother taught me, the good Lord gifted all peoples with two things - His Word and a reasoning mind. It's up to us what we do with both. I don't believe we're on opposing sides, just of differing opinions. No decision should be forced on anyone in this matter.
Greg Purves January 26, 2013 at 12:46 AM
I am a private citizen and I take full responsibility for the protection of my family and those close to me. Unfortunately, there are people in this world who do not care about others and will do anything they can which will further their own selfish interests, including inflicting harm to innocents. I have taken the Responsible Firearms safety course offered by GCSO and encourage all those who will not abdicate their responsibility for their own safety to avail themselves of the training. Do I wish to use my firearm? No. Am I willing to use it to keep my family safe? Without a doubt.

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