Maricopa County, located in the heart of Arizona, is one of the largest counties in the country when measured by size, or population. And its population is growing very fast. Many people move there for a variety of reasons like economic opportunity, weather, and political climate. But a good number move there because Arizona is perhaps the most gun owner friendly state in the country.
Jerry Sheridan wants to keep it that way. He’s running for Sheriff of Maricopa County, and he is different than many who hold elected office. Sheridan is a gun guy. A real gun guy who understands the culture, guns, and other gun owners.
Sheridan’s father and two of his uncles were police officers in New York City. When his father retired from police work in 1976, he moved his family to Arizona because it was a good place to own guns. Even then, Arizona was considered a very gun friendly place.
A year later when Sheridan turned 18, he joined the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office (MCSO) as a volunteer reserve deputy. Two years later he was hired as a full time deputy and stayed there for 38 years serving as a Deputy Sheriff and working his way up through law enforcement assignments to the position of Chief Deputy. He retired in December of 2016.
From the time he was five years old and his father taught him to shoot using a Colt 1911 chambered in .45 ACP, he has loved guns. And this love of guns has remained with him his whole life, with the Colt 1911 still being his favorite gun to shoot.
Sheridan says, “he has a lot of very neat weapons.” He particularly likes old Colts and Winchesters but owns guns including old cowboy guns, modern semi-automatics, suppressors, and full autos. He has managed to collect a number of guns over the years including an H&K MP5 and a Colt 1921 Thompson sub-machinegun. But he shoots them all and they don’t just sit around looking good.
He’s not an elitist though. When asked what he will do as Sheriff to help the average gun owner, he said, “I want people to exercise their second amendment rights. But they need to do it with responsibility and with the knowledge and the confidence that they can protect themselves, and use it in the right way.” And he understands what the Second Amendment is all about. He says, “It is there to protect the citizens from the tyranny of government.” That’s not the usual drivel from politicians who say they support the Second Amendment and are hunters. Sheridan says his Deputies will never enforce unconstitutional laws like red flag laws, and he supports the right of citizens to own AR-15 style firearms. Clearly this guy is not a politician. According to Sheridan, MCSO employees asked him to run for Sheriff. He never thought he would do it and says it is the hardest thing he has ever done. But, he says, when pushed into a corner he fights back. That’s what he says Deputies are taught to do as part of their job. And that job is to keep people safe.