Pine County Sheriff Says He'll Enforce State Statute, Not Federal Ideas

By KBJR News 1

January 16, 2013 Updated Jan 22, 2013 at 10:21 AM CST

Pine City, MN (NNCNOW.com) - While a significant portion of Americans, including some gun owners, say they're supportive of the President's ideas, according to Pine County Sheriff Robin Cole, that's exactly what they are: ideas.

And while they may resonate with some, until the Minnesota legislature creates state laws that deal with gun policy changes, Sheriff Cole says he has nothing new to enforce.

In regard to the protection of our constitutional rights, Sheriff Cole says he also recognizes necessary exceptions in the name of protecting everyone's civil liberties, citing the reasons why one can't yell "fire!" in a crowded movie theater as an example.

But Sheriff Cole said as the elected Sheriff of Pine County, it's his duty to uphold and enforce state law, not what he calls "federal ideas".

"We will enforce the law as it is written in the state of Minnesota, and when it changes, then we will enforce that law—but not until then," said Sheriff Cole during an interview following Obama's speech.

Sheriff Cole added that even if Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton ordered the Sheriff's office to do something, he would have no legal authority to follow that order until it became law.

President Obama's speech also relayed an order for universal background checks, which some say is a concept that could help keep guns out of criminals' hands.

On that, Sheriff Cole says Minnesota already has volumes of statutes regarding background checks, referencing the permit to purchase a pistol as an example.

He describes it as a very involved statute that is required if one wants to, say, purchase an assault weapon, and includes a thorough background check.

With that in mind, Sheriff Cole says he can't imagine getting more thorough.

- Posted to the Web by Billy Wagness