Sheriffs, guns and stationary: County officials weigh in on federal laws

ALBANY, Ore. - Linn County Sheriff Tim Mueller's letter to Vice President Joe Biden saying he won't enforce federal laws banning guns grabbed headlines nationwide.

Mueller said it isn't politics; in his eyes, it's the law.

"A comparison I make is it is illegal for me and my deputies to enforce federal immigration laws," Mueller said, "then they cannot legally expect me to enforce federal gun legislation."

Mueller said he is not against the president's proposals to curb violence.

"I saw some of his executive orders, and there are a lot of things I fully support," Mueller said. "I stand right by him on the piece about increasing mental health. That is huge."

Mueller said the response to his letter has been mostly positive. People have stopped by the sheriff's office just to shake his hand. Hundreds of calls have come in all over the world, and thousands of people have liked or shared the sheriff's letter on Facebook.

Sheriffs in Coos, Douglas and Crook counties have all come out with letters and public statements of their own.

The Lane County sheriff has not joined the rush.

"As the Sheriff of Lane County, I have taken an oath to uphold the Constitution of the United States and the laws of the State of Oregon," Sheriff Tom Turner wrote in a letter released Thursday. "I have upheld that oath for 31 years as a law enforcement officer in our community.  While I understand the sense of urgency on behalf of citizens, I believe that any reaction, decision or response to issues that impact the rights of all people should be done so without haste and after careful consideration. Ultimately it is the Supreme Court, not any individual, that determines the constitutionality of any law."