“I took [multiple] oaths of office, and they all say I will defend the Constitution of the United States,” Arpaio told Mike Broomhead of KFYI Radio in Phoenix, Ariz (LISTEN to audio). “Now if they’re going to tell the sheriff that he’s going to go around picking up guns from everybody, they’re going to have a problem. I may not enforce that federal law.”
Broomhead pushed the man sometimes called “America’s toughest sheriff” even further, asking Arpaio if the feds passed a law banning ammunition magazines that hold more than 10 rounds, would his deputies confiscate such magazines?
“No,” Arpaio said. “My deputies, I said before, I’m going to arm all my deputies – a month ago I said before this – with automatic weapons and semi-automatic weapons. We’re going to be able to fight back. … I don’t care what they say from Washington.”
Arpaio expressed a certain camaraderie with many other sheriffs around the country who have similarly warned they will not enforce what they believe to be infringements on the citizens’ 2nd Amendment right to bear arms.
Some of the strongest language to that effect has come from Utah, where 28 of the state’s 29 elected sheriffs signed a letter to President Obama warning him not to send federal agents to start confiscating guns.
“[M]ake no mistake,” the sheriffs wrote, “as the duly-elected sheriffs of our respective counties, we will enforce the rights guaranteed to our citizens by the Constitution. No federal official will be permitted to descend upon our constituents and take from them what the Bill of Rights – in particular Amendment II – has given them.
“We, like you swore a solemn oath to protect and defend the Constitution of the United States,” the sheriffs concluded, “and we are prepared to trade our lives for the preservation of its traditional interpretation.”