CHEROKEE COUNTY, Ga. - Joining a growing number of
sheriffs across the country who are against President Barack Obama's stricter gun control measures, Cherokee County Sheriff Roger Garrison says he is a strong supporter of the Second Amendment.
Sheriff Garrison declined a request for an interview with Channel 2's Shae Rozzi.
Instead, his public information officer emailed Rozzi a copy of Garrison's editorial letter and stated that it speaks for itself.
In the letter, Garrison said his job is to enforce state laws and the president has no authority to order the county sheriff to do anything.
Garrison writes that he
will "not enforce any laws or regulations that negate the constitutional rights of the citizens of Cherokee County."
".. nor will I permit the enforcement of any unconstitutional regulations or orders by federal officers within the borders of Cherokee County, Georgia."
Rozzi asked Cherokee County
commissioners whether they felt the letter is a good reflection of the community.
"I do believe his approach is in step with the majority of folks in Cherokee County," said Post 1 Commissioner Harry Johnston. "This is a very conservative and a relatively pro-gun county."
Chairman Buzz Aherns believes that Sheriff Garrison will likely see growing support in the days ahead, not criticism.
"I think he's just saying exactly where his heart and his responsibilities are," Aherns told Rozzi. "His oath of office is to enforce local laws, state laws and he just reinforced that."
Garrison writes that no one other than the governor in a state of emergency can tell a county sheriff what to do.
Gov. Nathan Deal kept his response to the statement neutral.
"I know Sheriff Garrison," Deal said. "He's a man of great
integrity, but I don't try to speak for any other level of government other than myself."
In Cherokee County, Rozzi found residents supporting the sheriff whether or not they agreed with him.
"Honestly, I think we have our rights to carry guns," Justin Juhan told
Rozzi, adding that there should be more focus on mental health than gun control to prevent tragedies like mass shootings.
teacher Vivian Murphy told Rozzi that she is for gun control.
"I would like to see some of the big automatic weapons somehow be restricted so that we can protect not only children but people in public places," she said.
But Murphy, who said she knows Garrison personally, said she admires him for standing up for what he believes.
"I think Roger Garrison is doing what he can to uphold the Constitution, so I admire him for that," Murphy said.