Patrick County Sheriff Vows to Support 2A, Oppose Gun Control

Sheriff Daniel Smith, Patrick County, VA

I want to take this opportunity to address my constituents regarding a very important matter. As you well know, with the majority shift in the Virginia General Assembly following the recent election, much speculation has risen regarding the potential passage of numerous gun control laws in our great Commonwealth. I am concerned, along with virtually every law enforcement leader in this region, about the potential fallout from these changes and how they will affect your day to day life.

I want to preface this correspondence by saying this: The men and women of this office work hard every day to protect you, your family and your property. We have arrested and prosecuted hundreds of individuals under our already existing state gun laws. Virginia has some of the toughest laws in the nation regarding felons in possession of guns, providing mandatory minimum prison sentences. We do this with a skeleton crew, often covering nearly 500 mountainous square miles at night time with just two deputies. Needless to say, if someone is trying to hurt you, it likely will take us what may seem like an eternity to get to you.

Many of you live alone. Some of you are single moms who are the only protection your children have. Do you want to be told that you can’t have a magazine for your hand gun that is capable of firing more than ten rounds of ammunition? Do you want to be automatically criminalized because you couldn’t afford to pay 35 dollars for a background check if your father gives you a gun to protect yourself with from a violent, estranged husband? These are some of the proposals that have been introduced for passage. Check it out for yourself by googling Virginia’s gun control proposals for the July 2019 special legislative session.

Anyone who knows me knows my deep support and appreciation for our Constitution and its Bill of Rights. My oath of office requires me, and every deputy sheriff that I appoint, to swear to support the Constitution of the United States and the Constitution of the Commonwealth of Virginia. It is my responsibility to see that you are not subjected to unlawful and unreasonable searches of your home by my deputies. It is my responsibility to ensure that you are not treated inhumanely while you are in custody. It is my responsibility to see that your freedom or property is not taken from you without probable cause, as the fourth amendment demands.

It is also my responsibility to protect your right to keep and bear arms. If many of the laws pass that have been proposed in the special legislative session held in July of 2019, I will be placed at odds with many of them and the oath that I have sworn to as your sheriff. I can assure you, my fellow Patrick Countians, that I will unequivocally be loyal to my oath of office and support the 2nd Amendment and the Constitution of this great land. Your right to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.

Overnight criminalization of someone who possesses a certain type of gun or ammunition magazine is an infringement. The issuance of a gun confiscation warrant based on hearsay without proper due process is an infringement. In addition, the confiscation proposal places law enforcement, particularly sheriff’s deputies, in grave danger because we are the ones that are most often commanded to carry out these protective orders. These are examples of the types of legislation that have been proposed. I urge you to stand with me and your constitutional right to keep and bear arms. Virginia’s rich gun culture and patriotic history is counting on your voice.  More soldiers have died on Virginia soil than in any other state in the union. Some fought to free our country from tyranny, others fought to keep this great country from being torn apart.

Please help me in stopping the erosion of our Constitutional rights that so many before us have sacrificed for. Write your state delegate, state senator, and the Governor’s office. Respectfully share your concerns with them. I am convinced that many of these proposals can be defeated. I will leave you with a quote from one of our founding fathers: “Those who would give up essential liberty, to purchase a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety,” Benjamin Franklin.

It is an honor serving you,

Daniel M. Smith, Sheriff
Patrick County, Virginia

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