Gwinnett Sheriff Speaks Out On Second Amendment

Conway posts a statement in response to 'many' emails. He encourages 'All Law Abiding' Citizens To Acquire Firearm Skills.

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.

"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.

Walton County Sheriff Joe Chapman has gone on record saying he too supports the Second Amendment. He also did not go so far as to say he wouldn't enforce any laws considered unconstitutional, at least not at this time. He said he was waiting to see what eventually came out of Washington before making any comment.

Brian Crawford January 26, 2013 at 03:13 AM
Tim, the passage I quoted earlier was taken directly from the Supreme Court decision (D,C, vs. Miller) that upheld an individual's right to arm himself. It also held that the government has the right to regulate certain aspects of gun commerce including the types of weapon one may own. Here it is again. From Justice Scalia: "Like most rights, the Second Amendment right is not unlimited. It is not a right to keep and carry any weapon whatsoever in any manner whatsoever and for whatever purpose: For example, concealed weapons prohibitions have been upheld under the Amendment or state analogues. The Court’s opinion should not be taken to cast doubt on longstanding prohibitions on the possession of firearms by felons and the mentally ill, or laws forbidding the carrying of firearms in sensitive places such as schools and government buildings, or laws imposing conditions and qualifications on the commercial sale of arms. Miller’s holding that the sorts of weapons protected are those “in common use at the time” finds support in the historical tradition of prohibiting the carrying of dangerous and unusual weapons." Read through that slowly and carefully. Under this interpretation military style assault weapons and high capacity magazines would certainly fit the description of " dangerous and unusual weapons" thus a ban on such weapons is clearly Constitutional. Since, like me, you are a lover of our Constitution, I assume you will defer to the Justice's decision.
Good Grief Y'all January 26, 2013 at 01:01 PM
Yes, Crystal, because those gun owners didn't securely store the guns which were stolen. Yes, it is their fault. Obviously, gun dealers should have more security and private owners need to do a better job of not leaving their firearms out or in obvious and easy-to-find hidey-holes. Yes, the President and the task force did address the mental health issue. It is not the job of a sheriff or any LE personnel to interpret the Constitution. The courts decide that matter when there is a question. That sheriff is seeking his 15 minutes of fame. You can google or bing the report yourself. Then you might believe it. The obvious issue for those not too stubborn to acknowledge it is that assault-style-military-grade firearms do not belong in the hands of individuals who can use them to quickly kill lots of people. Show me where someone with a knife, ball bat or using hands and feet killed 26 people in minutes. You can more possibly get away from or take down an attacker using those weapons. Run away from rapid fire discharged even from a distance? Stupid comparison. The 2nd Amendment doesn't address limitations on the types of firearms. So, you see, you can possess your guns and rifles without also being allowed to possess military-grade automatic machines.
Good Grief Y'all January 26, 2013 at 01:09 PM
If this sheriff defies the law of the land, regardless of whether HE declares it unconstitutional, he is breaking the law. You are, too, if you do the same. Maybe you two can commiserate in adjoining cells. You don't get to decide whose opinion counts any more than that spotlight-seeking sheriff gets to decide what is or isn't Constitutional.
Crystal January 26, 2013 at 05:02 PM
Good Grief Y'all, can you please tell me where you read the statistics about gun thefts? Have you ever shot a semi automatic rifle? Have you ever fired a shotgun or a hand gun? what was addressed about mental health? I heard him mention mental health but that' s it. No plan of action on how to handle it. I think going back and forth is really a waste of our time. We have totally different views and have the right to freely express them.......Thanks to the 1st amendment! I just wish everyone could see that once the government is allowed to take certain rights away they will continue until we have non left. Maybe you should consider moving to Chicago....they have very strict gun laws!!!! They also have a very high crime rate.
Brian Crawford January 27, 2013 at 01:52 AM
That first sentence should read "Tim, the passage I quoted earlier was taken directly from the Supreme Court decision (D.C. vs. Heller)...."


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