Why do police chiefs seems to favor gun control when most sheriffs don’t?
Shults Media Relations, LLC interviewed police chiefs and sheriffs from around the country to get their thoughts and opinions on gun control and compiled a report. Here’s a summary. Politicians speaking against gun ownership often cite police chiefs allegedly in support, even having them appear as props or spokesmen in news conferences. Why are these top cops so seemingly against firearm ownership?
Chiefs are at the beck and call of their political bosses, mayors and city councils. One interviewed chief stated, “We chiefs get our opinion on firearm ownership when it is issued to us.” An interviewed sheriff noted, “There is an active debate between sheriffs and chiefs that is affected by the big city chief culture because chiefs tend to emulate each other.”
If big city politicians are against gun ownership and the chief doesn’t agree, he could be fired or demoted by the mayor or city council. In most towns over 50,000 population chiefs are paid between $70,000 and $140,000 a year plus benefits and retirement, $200,000 plus in larger cities with some earning over $300,000. They want to hang onto that position and may appear supportive of those appointing them, even if these officials posture against citizen firearm ownership. Some chiefs may personally believe in gun control, especially if they were appointed by those in power at the time. Whenever an anti-gun official wants a show of supportive “top cops”, chiefs appear or advised to get their resume updated.
Sheriffs are a different breed. They are elected by the people and do not have to appease city council or mayor. Sheriffs represent the majority of citizens who directly voted them into office. Yes, there are some sheriffs that believe in gun control but nothing near the number of apparently supportive police chiefs. Most sheriffs take their Oath supporting the Constitution very seriously. While they currently follow and enforce Constitutional applicable federal, state and county laws, they reserve the power invested in their oath and position as elected officers of their county to resist or not to enforce Constitutional infringing law if or when that might come. If that were to occur, the state police and/or federal government may be ordered to step into that particular sheriff’s county to enforce those particular unconstitutional laws. The ramifications of those legal incursions might be very interesting to watch, especially, we were told, if that particular sheriff is actively supported by the citizens of that county.
The bottom line is city, state and federal chiefs sometimes bend to the will of their political masters. Something to consider in various anti-gun press conferences with police officers in the background.
Read more in our May 2013 issue. Back issues are available.