Not only will President Barack Obama's gun control policies face challenges from interest groups like the NRA, some local leaders are refusing to enforce them.
Two Oregon sheriffs have sent letters to Vice President Joe Biden challenging the Obama administration's brand new executive orders and future congressional action they believe would infringe upon the rights of the people they are sworn to protect.
Linn County Sheriff Tim Mueller sent Biden a letter he also posted to his office's Facebook page Tuesday, one day before Obama signed 23 executive orders intended to prevent gun violence. The sheriff's letter has since received more than 38,000 likes and 46,000 shares on the social media site.
We are Americans. We must not allow, nor shall we tolerate, the actions of criminals, no matter how heinous the crimes, to prompt politicians to enact laws that will infringe upon the liberties of responsible citizens who have broken no laws.
Any federal regulation enacted by Congress or by executive order of the President offending the constitutional rights of my citizens shall not be enforced by me or by my deputies...
It is the position of this Sheriff that I refuse to participate, or sand idly by, while my citizens are turned into criminals due to the unconstitutional actions of misguided politicians.
Mueller also has a brand new Twitter feed -- with only two tweets so far -- thanking social media users supportive of his letter and acknowledging fellow Oregon Sheriff Jim Hensley's similar declaration.
Sheriff Hensley wrote a nearly identical letter to the vice president Wednesday in which he refused to "permit the enforcement of any unconstitutional regulations or orders by federal officers within the borders of Crook Country, Oregon."
Sheriff Tim Mueller is humbled and amazed by the support of people near and far in response to his letter to VP Biden. Thank you!— Linn County Sheriff (@LinnCountySO) January 16, 2013
Sheriffs in Kentucky and Minnesota have made like-minded promises.
Mueller told KOIN-TV Tuesday that stricter gun control laws won't prevent people from committing "heinous acts."
"You cannot allow the actions of a very few -- no matter how heinous that crime is -- to dictate regulations in the law that could potentially offend the constitutional rights of honest Americans. That's not what we're about," he said.
According to a December Gallup poll, conducted after the Newtown massacre, 58 percent of Americans support stricter gun control laws.