Spokane County, Washington Sheriff Ozzie Knezovich has had a running feud with county residents he characterizes as “right-wing extremists.”
During a July 2015 address to a county Republican group, Knezovich condemned what he called “right-wing militia and patriot groups” for disseminating what he characterized as irresponsible and inflammatory rumors about impending gun confiscation and other threats.
“It is sad how many people believe this stuff,” the sheriff insisted, telling Republican leaders that they “need to figure [out] what you’re going to do with this group of individuals that are giving you all a bad name.”
Focusing particularly on activists who pledged to defy federal gun regulations that are incompatible with the strict text of the Constitution, Knezovich complained that “We’ve become a nation of `We don’t have to.’ We don’t have to obey anything we don’t agree with.”
Ironically, it was Sheriff Knezovich who sang that refrain on February 11 when he was told to leave his personal firearm at the door of the Spokane Arena when he arrived to attend a charity event. The arena, which is operated by the Public Facilities District, has a strict policy forbidding guns on the premises.