Mt. Vernon Register-News

February 12, 2013

Sheriff supports right to bear arms

Any legislation limiting gun ownership will not be supported, says MulchBy RORYE O'CONNOR rorye.oconnor@register-news.com MT. VERNON — Jefferson County Sheriff Roger Mulch is among the Illinois sheriffs who this winter pledged to support Americans' right to bear arms. The Jefferson County Sheriff's Office will uphold the law, Mulch said, but he will not support any legislation limiting gun ownership. "Gun control alone is not going to solve the problem of guns or violence," Mulch said. "We need a much more in-depth approach on that issue. Mental health services would probably help resolve a lot of problems. We think that every citizen has the right to own the weapon of their choice. The Illinois Sheriff's Association has the right to bear arms. We will not support legislation to hamper that." He said he supports measures like increased training for gun owners, but he will not support legislation reclassifying weapons as assault weapons "when they shouldn't be and keeping them out of the hands of citizens who are lawfully certified to have them." Mulch said he believes giving law enforcement officers better access to mental health records, as well as expanding treatment for those who are experiencing mental illness, are steps that will do more to help gun violence than more stringent gun control. "There's got to be more stringent prosecution of those violating existing gun laws," he said. "They need to make those sentences longer. We also need to promote safe use and storage of guns. Some of the best policies and procedures for us are to target active shooters and safety threats." He said he believes the violence prevalent in American society also needs to be addressed. "The top priority of the sheriff's association is protecting our kids, not only in their neighborhoods but in the schools as well," he said. "We're voted in by the people and we work for the people. We will stand to the end for that." More than 70 Illinois sheriffs at the Illinois Sheriffs' Association's Winter Training Conference passed a resolution supporting Americans' right to bear arms under the Second Amendment to the United States Constitution. "Sheriffs from across the state of Illinois believe that it is their responsibility and duty to uphold the constitution including the Second Amendment," information from the Illinois Sheriffs' Association states. "Rational law abiding citizens are not the cause of random acts of horrific violence in our communities. The focus should be primarily on the lack of mental health services in our country. "County jails continue to detain individuals who have been remanded to the Department of Human Service Mental Health Division for treatment. On February 8th there were sixty-eight of these individuals waiting for placement, some of which have been waiting for over four months." The resolution states that as the elected sheriff is recognized throughout the country is the chief local law enforcement office and is directly accountable to the people through the electoral process, and all sheriffs take an oath of office to enforce and defend the United States Constitution and State Constitution and law, and a primary mission of sheriffs is to ensure public safety, including gun safety, the cause of violence must be addressed on many fronts, including improved mental health treatment, "media violence, drugs, gangs, breakdown of the family, strengthening laws that prevent or reduce the access of legally prohibited persons to firearms and vigorous enforcement of existing laws." "Whereas the Illinois Sheriffs' Association represents the interests of all Sheriffs who are sworn to support and defend the United States Constitution; and whereas, Sheriffs strongly support our citizens' protected right to bear arms under the Second Amendment and the Illinois Sheriffs' Association does not support any laws that deprive any citizen of the rights provided under the Constitution and Bill of Rights; and whereas, the doctrine of judicial review grants to the United States Supreme Court and the lower courts the power to determine the constitutionality of any law and Sheriffs do not possess the legal authority to interpret the constitutionality of any law; now, therefore, be it resolved, the Illinois Sheriffs' Association supports the rights conferred by the Second Amendment and further recognizes the ultimate authority of the courts in interpreting the scope of those constitutional rights."

By RORYE O'CONNOR
rorye.oconnor@register-news.com

MT. VERNON - — Jefferson County Sheriff Roger Mulch is among the Illinois sheriffs who this winter pledged to support Americans' right to bear arms.

The Jefferson County Sheriff's Office will uphold the law, Mulch said,  but he will not support any legislation limiting gun ownership.

"Gun control alone is not going to solve the problem of guns or violence," Mulch said. "We need a much more in-depth approach on that issue. Mental health services would probably help resolve a lot of problems. We think that every citizen has the right to own the weapon of their choice. The Illinois Sheriff's Association has the right to bear arms. We will not support legislation to hamper that."

He said he supports measures like increased training for gun owners, but he will not support legislation reclassifying weapons as assault weapons "when they shouldn't be and keeping them out of the hands of citizens who are lawfully certified to have them."

Mulch said he believes giving law enforcement officers better access to mental health records, as well as expanding treatment for those who are experiencing mental illness, are steps that will do more to help gun violence than more stringent gun control.

"There's got to be more stringent prosecution of those violating existing gun laws," he said. "They need to make those sentences longer. We also need to promote safe use and storage of guns. Some of the best policies and procedures for us are to target active shooters and safety threats."

He said he believes the violence prevalent in American society also needs to be addressed.

"The top priority of the sheriff's association is protecting our kids, not only in their neighborhoods but in the schools as well," he said. "We're voted in by the people and we work for the people. We will stand to the end for that."

More than 70 Illinois sheriffs at the Illinois Sheriffs' Association's Winter Training Conference passed a resolution supporting Americans' right to bear arms under the Second Amendment to the United States Constitution.

"Sheriffs from across the state of Illinois believe that it is their responsibility and duty to uphold the constitution including the Second Amendment," information from the Illinois Sheriffs' Association states. "Rational law abiding citizens are not the cause of random acts of horrific violence in our communities. The focus should be primarily on the lack of mental health services in our country.

"County jails continue to detain individuals who have been remanded to the Department of Human Service Mental Health Division for treatment. On February 8th there were sixty-eight of these individuals waiting for placement, some of which have been waiting for over four months."

The resolution states that as the elected sheriff is recognized throughout the country is the chief local law enforcement office and is directly accountable to the people through the electoral process, and all sheriffs take an oath of office to enforce and defend the United States Constitution and State Constitution and law, and a primary mission of sheriffs is to ensure public safety, including gun safety, the cause of violence must be addressed on many fronts, including improved mental health treatment, "media violence, drugs, gangs, breakdown of the family, strengthening laws that prevent or reduce the access of legally prohibited persons to firearms and vigorous enforcement of existing laws."

"Whereas the Illinois Sheriffs' Association represents the interests of all Sheriffs who are sworn to support and defend the United States Constitution; and whereas, Sheriffs strongly support our citizens' protected right to bear arms under the Second Amendment and the Illinois Sheriffs' Association does not support any laws that deprive any citizen of the rights provided under the Constitution and Bill of Rights; and whereas, the doctrine of judicial review grants to the United States Supreme Court and the lower courts the power to determine the constitutionality of any law and Sheriffs do not possess the legal authority to interpret the constitutionality of any law; now, therefore, be it resolved, the Illinois Sheriffs' Association supports the rights conferred by the Second Amendment and further recognizes the ultimate authority of the courts in interpreting the scope of those constitutional rights."