Humboldt Co. Sheriff Opposes Gun Reform, Writes Letter to Biden
It's been almost a week since Vice President Joe Biden brought his proposals forward on how to curb gun violence, including the ban of assault rifles.
The Humboldt County Sheriff disagrees with those proposals and says he won't enforce any laws he thinks are unconstitutional.
Ed Kilgore is in his second term as Humboldt County Sheriff.
He says stricter gun control only strips people of their Second Amendment rights.
"They're actually limiting what defensible things that common citizens and law-abiding folks can have at their disposal to protect their families and their homes," Kilgore said.
About 7,500 people live in Winnemucca.
Kilgore says many of them have been around guns their entire lives.
"Everyone of these folks are hard-working people," Kilgore said. "They enjoy the outdoors. It's one of the reasons they live here, in Humboldt County. Hunting, fishing, target practice, having their firearms is very important to them. It's a way of life."
In a one-page letter to the Vice President, he writes that banning firearms and restricting magazine capacity will not slow gun violence.
"There have been many murders with a .22 caliber rifle or a pistol, handguns that are revolvers. It really doesn't matter the capacity of a magazine. It really doesn't matter the size or caliber of that weapon," Kilgore said.
The sheriff says the shooting in Newtown, Connecticut was tragic but it should not be a springboard for gun reform.
He says Nevada's background checks are adequate but thinks loopholes should be closed for purchases at gun shows.
He does not think the federal government should regulate any new laws.
"That should be a state's rights issue and our legislature in all 50 states should be able to address that," Kilgore said.
Kilgore says there should also be tougher consequences for gun crimes.
He says if Congress really wants to make a difference, they will focus on mental health.
"A significant amount of incarcerated population has some sort of mental illness attached to it, with little or nothing being done about it," Kilgore said.
Both sides of the aisle will be paying close attention to this issue as it gets closer to possible legislation.
Sheriff Kilgore is not alone either.
Sheriff John D'Agostini of El Dorado County, California also wrote a similar letter to the Vice President.