Utah’s 29 sheriffs have signed onto a lengthy statement which promises to protect residents’ Second Amendment rights and warns Utah to be wary of federal legislation that could infringe on constitutional rights.
“Importantly, the Second Amendment of our divinely inspired constitution clearly states ... ‘the right of the people to keep and bear Arms shall not be infringed,’” reads the statement. “We hereby recognize a significant principle underlying the Second Amendment: the right to keep and bear arms is indispensable to the existence of a free people.”
The sheriffs promise that they will collectively and individually do everything in their power to protect people’s constitutional rights.
The statement was sent out as a news release Friday evening by Cache County Sheriff Chad Jensen, who is the president of the Utah Sheriffs’ Association. He said in an email that the statement isn’t in response to specific legislation and is instead a general statement assuring people that their rights will be protected.
Several of the signees, including Salt Lake County Sheriff Rosie Rivera, confirmed through spokespeople that they signed the document but did not respond to requests for further comments on Friday.
The statement says that the sheriffs are working diligently to prevent and prepare for violence. The focus of violence-prevention efforts should be on the perpetrator and not the tool or “inanimate weapon” used in a crime, according to the statement.
We already have a large body of laws that ensure community safety, and should be wary of new “legislation, resolutions or executive orders,” especially from the federal government, that could infringe on people’s rights, the statement says.
Second Amendment rights have become a hot topic in Utah since President Joe Biden’s election.
Jensen released a statement in April telling his constituents that unconstitutional gun control won’t happen on his “watch.” That statement came after Biden unveiled some gun control measures including a crackdown on ghost guns, which are guns without serial numbers that can’t be traced.
Biden has said he wants to ban the sale of assault riffles with high-capacity magazines and that he supports legislation to make it so people can buy only one firearm a month.
Some Utah lawmakers wanted to make Utah a Second Amendment sanctuary this year as part of a legislative special session, but Gov. Spencer Cox did not include the idea in the session. He said Utah “is and always has been a Constitutional sanctuary state.”