Yakima County sheriff says he opposes assault weapon ban

Yakima Herald – by Chris Bristol

Citing his desire to protect constitutional rights, Yakima County Sheriff Ken Irwin announced Tuesday he is against a ban on assault weapons, but favors background checks on all firearms transactions.

In an interview with the Yakima Herald-Republic, Irwin said he decided to announce his position on two of President Barack Obama’s most controversial gun control proposals ahead of a clear-the-air meeting Friday with supporters of gun rights.

He acknowledged his position would probably fully satisfy neither supporters of gun rights nor supporters of increased gun control after the shootings in Newtown, Conn., last month that claimed the lives of 20 grade-school children and seven adults.

“It is what it is,” said Irwin, who has been the county’s top elected law enforcement official since 2001, adding, “You better be speaking from the heart and not to the crowd. That’s how I try to live.”

Explaining his opposition to the reinstatement of a ban on assault rifles that expired in 2004, Irwin said he formerly supported the ban but now questions its usefulness and constitutionality.

Instead, he spoke of the need to improve awareness and treatment options for people suffering from mental illness and “taking care of people causing the problems, not whatever tool they’re using.”

Sidestepping a question as to whether he would enforce a ban if Congress were to renew it — several county sheriffs across the country have said they won’t — Irwin said it “wasn’t an effective tool” and that focusing on a certain type of weapon would not prevent mass shootings.

“I don’t agree that an assault rifle or high-capacity magazines should be the focus or icon of this,” he said. “It’s people. That’s the common denominator. People.”

As for his position on background checks, Irwin confirmed that he means all firearms transactions — not just sales at gun stores, but also at gun shows as well as private sales or trades, which are currently exempt.

“There should be some sort of a background check on anybody that’s going to obtain a weapon,” he said. “Otherwise, why require them of dealers, as a business?”

Irwin said he decided to announce his position and his oath to support the U.S. and state constitutions, both of which include the right to bear arms, in anticipation of a meeting at his office with supporters of gun rights.

Irwin said he called the meeting because of questions he’s received via email, by phone or even at church from people who are afraid the Obama administration is using the Newtown shootings as an excuse to begin a serious erosion of gun rights.

“They’re very concerned about that,” he said.


4 thoughts on “Yakima County sheriff says he opposes assault weapon ban

  1. My Fellow Patriots:

    Either a sheriff supports the Constitution in full,.. or he/she does not.

    Partial support is NOT acceptable.

    This sheriff is a traitor.

    JD – US Marines

    1. Damn right JD. Cops have always played both sides of the street. One day they are for you and the next day they are against you, You cannot trust any LEO – bottom line.

  2. 1. Ditto that, US Marine JD. I agree. You are with us or against us. In war there are only 2 sides – yours or that of the enemy. This is WAR that the zion-ist enemy government declared on us way back before the scumbag government executed 20 little kids by fire at Waco in 1993.

    2. This “reporter” is a pathological LIAR. “after the shootings in Newtown, Conn., last month that claimed the lives of 20 grade-school children and seven adults”. EVERYONE knows that sandy hook was a hoax.

    3. “backgrounds checks” have NEVER prevented a REAL murder. They ARE one thing and one thing ONLY, a predecessor to a nationwide gun registry which is what they are now pushing. Incrementalism is how hitler did it, and the zionjews are following that same model. – get ’em an inch at a time, until we can KILL them all.

  3. yep. The man is a lying politician, talking out of both sides of his mouth, and ready to shovel whatever he needs to that will help hide the fact that he’s a traitor to the constitution.

    And it’s funny how every article on the gun control issue mentions Sandy Hook, to both to keep it in your mind, and propagate the myth.

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