Michael Schaus

Sheriffs who oppose the slew of Democrat sponsored gun control laws in New New York (Colorado) apparently do not have sufficient standing to take part in the lawsuit against the state. Right before Thanksgiving, a US District Court Judge ruled that the Colorado Sheriffs who joined a lawsuit against the Bloomberg inspired legislation, will not be able take part in their official capacity as elected law enforcement representatives. (The lawsuit, however, will continue; and the Sheriffs will be permitted to join the effort as individuals.)

According to CBS news, US District Court Judge Marcia Krieger said that “if individual sheriffs wish to protect individual rights or interests they may do so, however, the sheriffs have confused their individual rights and interests with those of the county sheriff’s office.”

Judge Krieger, however, seems confused about the role of elected law enforcement personnel. The Sheriff is a position unlike any other in the United States. They are intrinsically more in touch with local sentiment, and in a position of greater power than any other representative, police force, or governmental authority. The sheriffs were not suing over fear that the laws would infringe on their “individual” rights. They were suing because of their fear that the law would infringe on the individual rights of the citizens they swore to protect and defend. In fact, they seem the perfect lobby for citizen rights: Not only are they charged with implementing law, but they are held accountable by the individuals they serve.

Contrary to the beliefs of big-government advocates, the role of law enforcement is to protect individuals from having their personal liberty infringed upon by other entities… In this case, that entity is the State Legislature. It would seem that they are the perfect plaintiffs in a case against an unjust law.

However, according to the US District Judge, elected law enforcement officers have no standing, and will only be able to take part in the lawsuit as private citizens. Strange to think that the men and women who will be charged with enforcing these gun laws have no standing to object to them in their official office. Of course the ruling gave a much needed boost of confidence to defenders of the Draconian gun laws:

“We are pleased that the court recognized that many of the plaintiffs had no standing to bring this case and that our interpretation of the law is proper,” said Carolyn Tyler, a spokeswoman with the Colorado attorney general’s office, which is representing the state in the lawsuit.

The good news, however, is that the lawsuit will proceed. Hopefully the sheriffs will sign their names to the lawsuit as private citizens, and put more than just their professional reputation on the line in defense of their citizens. The Judge’s fundamental misunderstanding of the official role of Sheriff, however, does not necessarily bode well for the challenge. Her flippant disregard for the legal “standing” of elected Law Enforcement officials should give pause to those who hope she will adequately interpret the words “Shall Not be Infringed” in the second Amendment.


Michael Schaus

Michael Schaus is the Associate Editor for Townhall Finance, and the Executive Producer for Ransom Notes Radio. He is a former talk show host and political activist. Having worked in fields ranging from construction to financial investment, his perspectives and world views are forged with a deep understanding of what it means to be an American.
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