Sheriff stands by "anti-gun law" statements - Fox 28: South Bend, Elkhart IN News, Weather, Sports

Sheriff stands by "anti-gun law" statements

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During a 2nd Amendment Rally over the weekend, the Elkhart County Sheriff made comments that have been getting a lot of attention.

"The ban on magazines, the ban on certain types of weapons, that's a slippery slope," says Elkhart County Sheriff Brad Rogers.

It's a slope he doesn't want to go down. He says he took an oath three years ago, promising to uphold the U.S. Constitution and the Indiana Constitution to the best of his ability. He says he doesn't take his job, or promise lightly. "The police, because of their oath of office, are not supposed to check their mind at the door. You're supposed to think for yourself."

He says he put a lot of thought into the speech he gave at the rally and stands by his announcement that he will not "allow gun confiscation" and won't "enforce any additional anti-gun laws" in Elkhart County.

They are statements that have some community members concerned.  

"It is their responsibility, regardless of their feeling on the situation, to act or to be responsible to what they're supposed to be doing as a public official," says Ryan Desmith, an Elkhart County resident. 

"As a new resident of Elkhart County, it makes you second guess the community, like what ethics and morals are from public officials around here?" says resident Shawn Johnston.

But Rogers says people are misunderstanding his position. He says he IS doing the moral thing and his statements don't show a lack of responsibility to his duties. "Nowhere in there does it say that that oath of office requires me to enforce the law or anything like that. It requires me to uphold the constitution."

He says it's bigger than the gun control debate. He fears the federal government is too involved in matters that are constitutionally for the state to decide. "The constitution has specific tasks for the federal government. Gun control is not one of them."

He says he was elected to use discretion. He doesn't believe infringing on the second amendment is constitutional and that's the one thing he says he is held accountable by. "It's not just a matter of enforcing a law, it's not that easy."

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