Utah sheriff’s department enacts policy defending gun rights
FARMINGTON, Utah (AP) — Davis County sheriff’s deputies and other department employees are prohibited under a new office policy from enforcing certain measures that could infringe on the right to bear arms in Utah.
Sheriff Kelly Sparks said the policy is meant as a preventive measure and counterweight to any possible governmental action to interfere with gun rights in the county, the Standard-Examiner reported.
The policy took effect Tuesday, the same day county commissioners expressed support for the move.
Sparks said no specific measure or event prompted the change and that the move is more “actionable” than declaring Second Amendment sanctuary status.
Sparks said the measure directs sheriff’s office personnel not to enforce orders on Second Amendment matters from the U.S. president or other federal, state or local entities that have not been approved by Congress or the state Legislature.
“This is really to make sure people know where we stand in case of these potentialities,” Sparks said. “I think this is a conversation that’s been going on for a long time.”
The Legislature last month approved a measure touting support for gun rights and continued discussion of making Utah a Second Amendment “sanctuary state.”
Weber County declared itself a sanctuary in April, and Wasatch County took a similar action last month. Second Amendment sanctuary resolutions have been adopted by more than 1,000 local governments across the U.S. in recent years. The movement took off as states considered stricter gun laws in the wake of mass shootings.
Sparks said Davis County Attorney Troy Rawlings helped craft the sheriff’s office policy. But not everyone agreed.
“The Second Amendment, if it starts to be eroded away with what rights we were given, we’ll start the process of eroding the entire Constitution away,” commissioner Bob Stevenson said. I think that we have to make sure that we stand up in all areas of this country for what that Constitution is.”