When the Second Amendment sanctuary movement got underway, it was driven a lot by county sheriffs. Some unilaterally announced they wouldn’t be enforcing unconstitutional gun laws while others urged county commissions to codify it in law.
Yet every one of them was a sitting sheriff, someone who had the advantage of incumbency in future elections to help shield them from potential criticism of their actions. They had a bit of security when they made their stand.
That doesn’t discredit their actions, mind you, it only puts it in a bit of perspective when a sheriff’s office candidate makes the same stand.
When Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo banned Thanksgiving gatherings of more than 10 people last month, Sheriff Timothy B. Howard drew widespread attention by promising to never enforce the state “mandate.”
Now local gun rights advocate Steve Felano has declared his candidacy for Erie County sheriff next year with an even broader vow: He will not enforce any laws he views as an unconstitutional infringement of personal liberties.
“First and foremost, the platform will be nonenforcement of state edicts on various laws,” he said Wednesday, citing a new ban on selling Confederate flags on state property – which Cuomo signed into law on Tuesday – as an example. Felano does not support many of the principles for which the Confederate flag stands, but contends that banning its sale on state property amounts to a violation of free speech.
It’s safe to say with his pro-Second Amendment background, Felano will also plan on not enforcing many of New York’s unconstitutional gun laws, such as the NY SAFE Act, among others.
In truth, Felano is the first candidate for sheriff I’ve seen campaign on not enforcing laws, including gun laws, but I have a feeling that if he’s successful, he won’t be the last. People are quick to follow a winner, especially if it helps you stand out.
New York has done a lot of questionable things in recent years, pretty much since Andrew Cuomo took office, and it would be nice if someone would provide a check on this stupidity. That means county sheriffs. After all, without New York City, the state of New York would be a pretty red state and perhaps one of the more pro-gun states in the nation. If sheriffs opt to to not enforce the stupidity, well…what can you do?
After all, it seems many communities are opting to not enforce all kinds of laws. Many are calling for giving people a pass because they’re poor, addicted to drugs, or mentally unwell, even if those crimes have a distinct victim and the law isn’t a violation of anyone’s rights. If they can get away with that, why can’t sheriffs opt to just not enforce a different set of laws that do pertain to people’s rights.
I hope Felano is successful. It should be interesting to watch, that’s for sure.