My 2nd Amendment Pledge

Updated: May 20

My 2nd Amendment Pledge

By Brian Kozak

Since becoming a candidate for sheriff, I have been asked if I support the 2nd Amendment, and if I would help to make Laramie County a 2nd Amendment sanctuary. These are very general terms; thus, I will outline my 2nd Amendment beliefs, so you know what to expect from me if I am elected Sheriff.

I want to be very clear about this – I am solid supporter of the 2nd Amendment, and I am committed to preserving the gun ownership and self-defense rights of law-abiding Wyoming citizens.

When I launched my campaign, I publicly announced that I would not enforce any federal gun law or presidential executive order passed after July 1, 2020. Additionally, I would not allow federal law enforcement agencies to detain people in Laramie County Detention Center for these violations. I already met with the local federal law enforcement supervisors to advise them of my campaign platform; they said they understood and would cooperate with the policy if I am elected.

Some may ask, how can a sheriff refuse to enforce a federal law. According to U.S. criminal code only federal agents may enforce federal law. Local law enforcement cannot enforce federal laws unless they are sworn in to act as a federal agent. In my 35 years of policing, I have never enforced a federal law. Moreover, the 10th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, confirmed by the New York v. United States (1992) Supreme Court decision, affirms local law enforcement may not enforce federal law.

Currently, federal law enforcement is not allowed to use the Laramie County Detention Center. I plan to revisit this policy and negotiate with the U. S. Marshals Service to possibly allow them to use our jail if the price is right. I believe the Sheriff’s Office could better serve the criminal justice system by including the federal courts. If the contract is awarded, I will, by a matter of policy, not allow federal gun charges for laws passed after July 1, 2020.

I do not support any attempt by the United States to further restrict the type of firearms or magazines possessed by Wyoming citizens. If a federal law was passed restricting magazine capacities or firearm types, I would not cooperate with federal agencies in the administration of the law. In sense, we would become a 2nd Amendment sanctuary county. I would hope the county commissioners and state legislature would pass a resolution to support my actions. However, if they did not, I would stand strong to protect your 2nd Amendment rights. I can do this because I have taken an oath to protect the U.S. Constitution.

The 10th Amendment states that powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution are reserved to the states. Thus, as sheriff, I will follow laws which the Wyoming legislature pass unless I believe the law to be a violation of the Constitution. People believe this is the sole responsibility of a sheriff, who is the only elected law enforcement officer in the county. Conversely, this is the responsibility of every peace officer. As police chief, I have refused to act because I believed the action was unconstitutional. For example, in 1955 the Montgomery police officer should have refused to arrest Rosa Parks for sitting in the white section of the city bus because the law was unconstitutional.

Having a 2nd Amendment sanctuary does not mean everyone has 2nd Amendment rights. I will work with the federal law enforcement agencies to apprehend violent felons or undocumented immigrants who use firearms. The Sheriff’s Office will work with federal agencies to pursue criminals who use firearms against our Wyoming citizens.

I support state laws that restrict local peace officers from assisting federal agencies on new gun restrictions; however, we must be careful not to limit the ability of peace officers to work with federal law enforcement to apprehend violent fugitives who may be armed. When creating state statute, we must be careful to protect the right of law enforcement agencies to limit firearms in police stations, jails, and courts.

I support initiatives to allow law abiding citizens and school employees to be armed on school property, only if the school district desires such policies. This is an issue I have changed my mind on since becoming a peace officer in Wyoming. I initially believed law enforcement could respond to threats in the school, but this was based on my experience in an urban area. However, since working in a more rural area, I believe citizens need to be ready to protect our children because law enforcement may not arrive in a timely manner.

I believe all law-abiding citizens have a right to carry concealed weapons and support Wyoming’s recent legislation to allow this. In fact, when I was police chief, I proposed to eliminate a city ordinance that regulated concealed firearms and weapons. I did not support the idea that city code was more restrictive than state statute. City Council approved my recommendation, taking the ordinance off the books.

As sheriff of Laramie County, I will most likely never have to protect your 2nd Amendment rights; most of the job will entail improving leadership and reengaging with the community. The sheriff will deal with 4th Amendment issues daily, which is why the sheriff needs to have law enforcement management experience. However, if I am elected sheriff and I need to protect your 2nd Amendment rights, you can be guaranteed I will. When you hear me talk about 2nd Amendment rights or gun sanctuary, you know precisely what I mean. Can you say the same for the other candidates running for sheriff?

136 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All