A Kentucky sheriff whose views track those of a fringe militia group announced this weekend that he would not enforce any gun law he deemed “unconstitutional,” which, apparently includes any gun law at all, including a ban on AK-47s. Jackson County Sheriff Denny Peyman said during a press conference Saturday:
You’ll understand me very well when you leave here today, and why we’re all still gonna have our guns here in Jackson.
The job of a sheriff, I’m responsible for the people inside this county. … I couldn’t justify, if Obama passes this, it doesn’t matter what he passes. The sheriff has more power than the federal people. They need to go back and they study that. We’re a commonwealth. I can ask the federal people to leave. They have to leave. I can ask state people to leave. They have to leave. What I’m saying is this is our home. I’m an elected official. The highest elected official, from this point on.
Peyman’s assertion that sheriffs are the highest law enforcement authorities – above federal authorities — mirrors the philosophy of an extremist group of current and former police officers known as the Oath Keepers, who vow to defy any law or order that violates their radical view of the Constitution and fear that government officials will “disarm the American people,” “confiscate the property of the American people, including food and other essential supplies,” and “blockade American cities, thus turning them into giant concentration camps.” Peyman did not return a call to ask whether he was part of the group. Describing his view of the Constitution, Peyman defended even those who carry guns in violation of existing laws:
When we come into a group, I look at people and I know who packs and who doesn’t pack, some of them legally and some of them illegally, but that’s their right. The Second Amendment makes that very clear. And our forefathers made that very clear.
He told Fox’s Greta Van Susteren Monday night that the Constitution is like the Bible, in that both are subject to one rigid interpretation:
Well, it’s just like, if you take out part, it’s kind of like the Bible, either you believe it or you don’t believe it. The Constitution, either you believe it or you don’t. You either live by it or you don’t.
Unfortunately, Peyman appears to have appointed himself the sole arbiter of what that document means.