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State Capitol » Utah lawmaker, sheriffs vow to prevent feds from taking arms.
By david montero
| The Salt Lake Tribune
First Published Jan 19 2013
In the bitter cold Saturday afternoon, the crowd at the Utah Capitol was mostly packing heat and defiantly daring the federal government to try to take away any gun rights.
They also discovered they had picked up two allies — a newly elected Utah state lawmaker and the Utah Sheriffs’ Association.
Republican Brian Greene drew some of the biggest cheers from the 1,500-strong crowd, saying he would unveil legislation next week giving local sheriffs the power to arrest any federal agent attempting to seize firearms from Utah residents.
The Utah Sheriffs’ Association also pushed back on President Barack Obama’s proposal last week seeking to restrict the size of magazines, reinstitute the assault weapons ban and provide tougher background checks on gun buyers.
“No federal official will be permitted to descend upon our constituents and take from them what the Bill of Rights — in particular our Amendment II — has given them,” the association’s letter dated Jan. 17 read. “We, like you, swore a solemn oath to protect and defend the Constitution of the United States, and we are prepared to trade our lives for the preservation of its traditional interpretation.”
Greene called the letter “brilliant” and said it hewed closely to his proposed measure.
He told the crowd to be wary of the Obama proposal.
“This is all about control,” Greene said. “I saw the president in his press conference the other day with all the children around him and he made this comment — and I want to correct him. He said if this can save just one life we have a duty to do it. No, Mr. President, you have a duty to uphold the Constitution.”
His proposal also echoes a resolution made by Dale Ure, a Washington County financial planner. Ure said he wanted Utah to stand up to the federal government by allowing Utah to have gun laws that superseded federal authority.
During the two-hour rally that coincided with the national Gun Appreciation Day movement across the country, participants thundered cheers for Kevin Brooks, the sermon-pounding pastor from Victory Baptist Church, who talked about “the original open carry law” in the Bible where people “wore their swords proudly.” They booed every mention of Obama’s name. They repeatedly chanted “USA! USA! USA!”
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