Recently Cherokee County Sheriff Jason Chennault issued a letter making the county a Second Amendment sanctuary county, which has become a trend of late in many counties around the U.S. Many counties in Oklahoma are already designated as such, and Cherokee County’s declaration is merely another on a long list across the nation.

In full disclosure, being someone who fully supports the constitutional rights of all law-abiding citizens, I am in full support of Sheriff Chennault’s decision and applaud him for his leadership in the county in supporting the U.S. Constitution and the rights of the good citizens living in our area.

In the letter released by the department, Sheriff Chennault said that by making the declaration, it was his intention “to enforce our citizens’ right to bear arms, as guaranteed by the Second Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.”

There are some who say these declarations are not needed, since we are already guaranteed that right under federal law. However, as many gun owners and others will quickly point out, our Second Amendment rights and other rights supposedly guaranteed under the Constitution are constantly under attack, and this action reiterates the fact that law enforcement at local levels are going to enforce their oaths of office in upholding the Constitution and protecting the rights of all law-abiding persons living in their jurisdictions.

For gun owners, what has been witnessed recently in other cities and states regarding lawlessness, lack of enforcement, and riots – combined with the draconian laws and policies regarding firearms and firearm ownership in areas across the U.S. – is cause for great concern. In addition, if the policies supported by and promised by the Biden administration do actually come to pass, millions of Americans will become instant felons overnight at some future point, without regard of what is promised in the Constitution.

I can promise you there are millions of law-abiding citizens who are quietly struggling already with the decisions of what each of them (us) may have to make at a future date should laws or mandates come to pass that go against the Constitution and our rights. The actions of those made by Sheriff Chennault and others ease that anxiety.

Similarly, last year, Tahlequah Police Chief Nate King proved to uphold his oath of office when many wanted him to stop any protests in Norris Park and other places downtown in regard to the Black Lives Matter movement that were happening across the country. In similar fashion, Chief King stated that as long as the protests were peaceful, those citizens, too, had a right to do so, and he would uphold their rights as well. I applauded his statement and actions at the time, and I still do, because as long as protesters are law-abiding in their efforts, they do indeed have that right.

Sheriff Chennault and Chief King are both perfect examples of true leadership and what law enforcement officials should be around the country. I, for one, am glad to live in a place where common sense prevails when it comes to our supposedly guaranteed rights, and I am glad we have local officials who do not simply blow in the sways of the political winds. Unlike many others in their positions, these two men take their oaths and their jobs seriously.

Each resident in our area needs to be thankful we live in places where our elected officials at all levels support our rights and our freedoms, because the day will eventually come when we will not be that lucky. Unfortunately for many in the U.S., that day is already here.

Randy Gibson is the CEO of RDG Communications and the former director of the Tahlequah Chamber of Commerce and the Texas State Rifle Association.

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