Cumberland Times-News

Local News

June 4, 2013

Garrett sheriff opposes state’s gun regulation

CUMBERLAND — OAKLAND — Garrett County Sheriff Robert Corley provided a resolution he claims protects citizens’ Second Amendment rights in regard to the Maryland Firearms Safety Act of 2013 for the county commissioners’ support  during the commission meeting on Tuesday.

Corley proclaimed his opposition to the MFSA and asked for support in allowing himself and deputies to use sound discretionary enforcement of the MFSA against any citizen unless they are engaged in commission of a crime of violence, a violent act, have been convicted of a prior felony, are adjudicated with a dangerous mental illness or under any other related compelling exigent circumstances.

“I’m asking you to join me in my commitment to the law-abiding citizens of Garrett County because such enforcement will greatly reduce the likelihood of criminalizing law-abiding citizens,” said Corley. “I believe that the MFSA violates the Second Amendment to the United States Constitution that cleary states, ‘The right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.’”

Both chairman Robert Gatto and Commissioner Gregan Crawford voiced thier support of the sheriff’s resolution.

Commissioner Jim Raley suggested that the resolution should be viewed by legal counsel and citizens should have input.

“Thanks for taking a stance. It’s an emotional issue. I am disappointed in the attorney general’s stance,” said Raley.

Corley said that he is going to enforce the MFSA as he sees fit.

“I’m not asking for your blessing. I’m asking for your support,” said Corley.

The MFSA, which was enacted by the General Assembly and is set to take effect Oct. 1, bans the sale of 45 types of ordinary rifles and magazines that could contribute to the common defense and requires law-abiding citizens to submit to licensing fees, background checks, fingerprinting, safety training and renewal fees, according to Corley.

During the meeting, Jay Moyer, general roads superintendent, and John Frank, director of emergency management, voiced their support of Corley’s resolution.

The resolution is similar to those made by commissioners in Carroll and Cecil counties, both of whom believe the state act is an infringement on Second Amendment rights, according to Corley.

“Cecil County’s adopted resolution states that the County Council believes the Maryland Firearms Safety Act of 2013 is based on invalid legislation and as a result of their opposition, the board of commissioners will not authorize money, resources, employees, agencies, contractors, buildings, offices or detention centers to enforce any element of the gun law,” said Corley.

The resolution also states that Corley supports the state’s attorney’s decision to prosecute or not to prosecute charges against a law-abiding citizen detained for noncompliance of the MFSA unless they are engaged in the aforementioned circumstances.

Contact Elaine Blaisdell at eblaisdell@times-news.com.

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