They are an elected LAW ENFORCEMENT official. This gives them a unique combination of power and a responsibility to the people.
They are at the county level. Some counties, like Los Angeles County, are unmanageably large. But in most cases, a county is small enough for the sheriff to feel a kinship thereto, and for the people to feel at least some amount of solidarity with the sheriff. This is in keeping with the principles of subsidiarity and local accountability.
A sheriff is in a unique position authority to defend the rights of the of the people in his county.
Gun owners almost certainly face at least some erosion of their rights in the coming weeks and months, certainly in some states, and possibly nationwide.
But fears of what might happen go way beyond piecemeal erosion. Talk of confiscation is on everyone’s lips. Walk into any gun store right now and just stand and listen to the conversations. In previous years, you would, of course, hear talk of rights and the 2nd Amendment, but the discussion now has gone beyond the typical. People are scared. People are concerned. People are expecting the worst.
What gun owners fear most may, or may not, come to pass. But if it does not, that does not mean the fears were unfounded. There is a power elite that would prefer to see citizens unarmed. They will do whatever they can get away with to move that ball down field.
Recently, we have seen statements made by ex military, law enforcement, and legislatures that draw a line in the sand on the subject: If the federal government exceeds its authority, they say, it should expect some resistance. It’s a shame that is appears to have come to this, but increasing numbers of local citizens and elected officials are concerned enough to make public statements to that effect.
Here is one sheriff who is drawing that line in the sand. More will likely follow, especially if things heat up.