MCKINNEY -- With a highly charged debate over gun control underway in Washington, D.C., Collin County Sheriff Terry Box fired off a cyber salvo across his Facebook page over the weekend vowing not to enforce any potential federal laws that he feels may undermine the Constitutional right to bear arms.
"Unfortunately, the recent surge in the numbers of innocent victims who have died at the hands of unstable criminals has prompted politicians in Washington to seek to pass laws that would seriously erode the constitutional rights of innocent and law abiding citizens," Box said in the post.
He also added that he will not recognize any "unconstitutional mandate" that infringes upon the right to bear arms. Box said requiring residents to register their weapons, taking specific guns away or limiting how much ammunition someone can buy would be a government overreach that he refuses to support.
The sheriff said reaction had been largely positive, although he acknowledged that some denounced his stance and questioned his authority to take such a stand. One man wrote in the comment section that the post "makes me ashamed to be called a Texan" while another proclaimed, "You, sir, have to be one of the most arrogant, dumb son of a ––– in Texas."
Still, Box is steadfast in his stance, saying, "I didn't know it would be this much of a hot potato ... but I am a big boy and I can handle it."
"Neither I, nor any of my deputies, will participate in the enforcement of laws that violate our precious constitutional rights, including our Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms," Box said in the original post. "As long as I remain Sheriff of Collin County, I will not participate in the actions of misguided politicians who seek to impede our citizen’s right to all of the privileges afforded by our Constitution."
Collin County Judge Keith Self is standing behind Box, saying, "We're real proud of our sheriff." He staunchly supports Box even if a potential enforcement standoff with the federal government arises, triggering the possibility of losing money for federally funded programs down the road.
"We don't know where that will go," Self said, "We will deal with that as it comes."
No other sheriff of nearby or neighboring counties took as staunch a stand as Box did regarding gun control when asked for comment.
Denton County Sheriff William B. Travis vowed to "uphold the Constitution of the State of Texas and of the United States" and to "uphold the laws as they are in place at this time and will not speculate on what may or may not happen in the future."
Dallas County Sheriff Lupe Valdez offered further analysis to gun control, saying Constitutional rights must be preserved but "we seek to have compassion for victims of gun violence and welcome opportunities to address the different sides of the issues."
"We in law enforcement understand the complexities of dealing with the mentally ill and we do believe that is one of the many issues that need to be addressed," Valdez added.
Tarrant County Sheriff spokesman said the office is committed to upholding all laws of the state of Texas and the U.S. Constitution, including the Second Amendment.