Wicomico County Sheriff Mike Lewis is not quiet about his stance when it comes to the Second Amendment.
The sheriff is unashamedly and unapologetically pro-gun. Back in August, Sheriff Lewis emphatically voiced his opposition to Maryland’s new gun law and attempts by the federal government to roll back the Second Amendment.
“As long as I’m the sheriff in this county,” he said in a video posted on Youtube, “I will not allow the federal government to come in here and strip my citizens of their right to bear arms. I can tell you this, if they attempt to do that, it would be an all-out civil war, no question about it.”
In a separate video, the sheriff slammed the state’s new gun-control law, known as the Firearms Safety Act of 2013, which was Maryland’s response to the mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, Connecticut.
Among other restrictions to the Second Amendment, the Firearms Safety Act of 2013 expanded the state’s ban on so-called ‘assault’ weapons, limited magazine capacity to 10 rounds and required fingerprinting for all handgun purchases.
Sheriff Lewis questioned the logic behind the law.
“Who am I to tell them what they should or should not protect their families with?” Lewis asked on WRDE, a local television network. “Who am I to tell them they shouldn’t have a magazine with 30 rounds behind the door when some thug is trying to break into their home? … If you start coming into people’s homes to disarm them solely because you believe they don’t have a Second Amendment right to bear arms, you better stand by. It will be, without a doubt, a civil war.”
In his most recent interview, Sheriff Lewis spoke about the discretionary aspect to law enforcement, noting how he will tell his deputies to exercise “good common sense” when enforcing the new gun law.
“We have discretionary power to review all cases that come before us,” he explained. “Any police officer on patrol uses their discretion all of the time. If they’re using a firearm to commit a crime, that’s a no-brainer, they’re getting arrested. I’m doing nothing different today than before the law was passed.”
However, Maryland Attorney General Doug Gansler criticized the sheriff for abdicating his duties, suggesting that the Firearms Safety Act of 2013 does not contravene the Second Amendment.
“There are certainly people with differing views on gun policy; those views should be respected and discussed,” Gansler said. “But the fact of the matter is, the gun law that was passed by the General Assembly in Maryland is completely and unassailably constitutional under the Supreme Court’s interpretation of the Second Amendment.”
Back in July a federal Judge agreed with Gansler, ruling that the law’s restrictions on ‘assault’ weapons was constitutional because modern sporting rifles “fall outside Second Amendment protection as dangerous and unusual.”
Of course, the fight to overturn the Firearms Safety Act is not over. Several gun rights organizations, including the National Shooting Sports Foundation, are working to appeal the judge’s ruling. No doubt, Sheriff Lewis stands behinds those efforts to scrap the law.