By Ben Lane, TSB Staff
On the eve of President Obama’s second inauguration, Collin County Sheriff Terry Box posted a message on his personal Facebook page that was sure to ignite debate amongst the citizens of Collin County.
Box, who has been Collin County Sheriff for 28 years, posted a short message Sunday stating that he and his deputies will not enforce any new federal laws that infringe on a citizen’s constitutional rights, specifically the second amendment which guarantees the right to keep and bear arms.
“If the laws passed aren’t constitutional, I won’t support it or enforce it,” Box told TownSquareBuzz.com when reached for comment on Monday. Box said that he was motivated to speak out after seeing other county sheriffs make similar public comments and after more than 100 Collin County citizens contacted him and asked him to make his position public.
Box said he understands that the public nature of his position makes him a powerful voice in the gun control debate that has divided our country since the tragic elementary school shooting Dec. 14 in Newtown, Conn.
“I wanted to go out front and hope that the Congress would see that not everyone is on board,” Box said, “and let them know that there are people who believe differently and want to protect the Constitution.”
Less than a week ago, President Obama announced his proposal to curb the gun violence in our country. Among the President’s recommendations is the requirement of background checks for all gun sales, the reauthorization of the assault weapons ban, a 10-round limit for all ammunition magazines, an increase in mental health funding, an increase in police officers and other measures.
These proposals have angered many gun-owners and those who support the constitutional rights of all citizens.
“Right now, the times we live in, there are a lot of folks that are divided on this issue,” Box told TSB. “I come down on the side of the second amendment. Those second amendment rights are important and need to be upheld and I felt it was important to show that not everybody in law enforcement is on board with knee-jerk reactions from the government.”
Asked what he would do to stem the outbreak of gun violence, Box said he would favor the enforcement of gun laws that are already on the books and “that it’s important to deal with the real problem of mental illness in this country.”
Box said he feels that many of the politicians in the federal government only react after a tragedy and are “trying to legislate morality or human behavior.” He also said he feels that more sheriffs will speak out in the coming days as the battle lines are being drawn in one of the most contentious debates in recent memory.
If the federal government passes legislation or enacts an executive order that is proved constitutional, Sheriff Box stated that he and his deputies will support it, but “the government better double check and make sure it doesn’t go against our constitutional rights.”
Sheriff Box’s Facebook post from Sunday, Jan. 20:
In light of recent events I feel I need to make a public statement of my views on this subject.
As the Sheriff of Collin County, Texas, I have for the past 28 years served to protect and keep safe all citizens of our county, recognizing the trust placed in me with this profoundly important responsibility.
Unfortunately, the recent surge in the numbers of innocent victims who have died at the hands of unstable criminals has prompted politicians in Washington to seek to pass laws that would seriously erode the constitutional rights of innocent and law abiding citizens.
Neither I, nor any of my deputies, will participate in the enforcement of laws that violate our precious constitutional rights, including our Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms.
As long as I remain Sheriff of Collin County, I will not participate in the actions of misguided politicians who seek to impede our citizen’s right to all of the privileges afforded by our Constitution.
Terry G. Box
Sheriff, Collin County Texas