SALT LAKE CITY — The Utah Sheriffs' Association has written an open letter to President Barack Obama, outlining its opposition to executive orders announced this week altering gun laws.
Within four hours of being posted on the Cache County Sheriff's Office Facebook page, the letter had garnered more than 150 comments and 1,000 "likes."
The letter opens conveying the sheriffs' grief over the recent Connecticut school shooting, as well as Utah tragedies such as the Trolley Square shooting in 2007, before declaring it is "foolish and prejudiced" to demonize firearms in such tragedies rather than the criminals who wield them.
"As professional peace officers, if we understand nothing else, we understand this: Lawful violence must sometimes be employed to deter and stop criminal violence," the letter states. "Consequently, the citizenry must continue its ability to keep and bear arms, including arms that adequately protect them from all types of illegality."
The letter urges that discussions surrounding gun law reform take place in Congress, rather than through executive order, and it asks lawmakers to consider the priorities of the nation's Founding Fathers in that debate. It closes by promising the elected sheriffs will strive to protect Utahns' Constitutional rights.
"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," it states.