Bossier Sheriff discusses guns, law enforcement and the 2nd Amendment

Bossier Sheriff, Julian C. Whittington
Bossier Sheriff, Julian C. Whittington

The following statement was released by Bossier Parish Sheriff Julian C. Whittington:

In the wake of the horrific murders in Newtown, Conn., our nation has become more vocal about gun violence, gun control and the 2nd Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.  Politicians and residents are polarized on this issue, just as they have been for years, but with the recent tragedy and the death of innocent children at the hands of a murderer with guns, the issue has been brought to new level.

The safety of the citizens of Bossier Parish is my top priority.  I believe we need to keep guns out of the hands of criminals and the mentally ill while allowing law-abiding citizens the right of the 2nd Amendment to keep and bear arms.  

First and foremost, I am a strong supporter of the entire 2nd Amendment and the right to bear arms for all Americans provided in the Constitution 223 years ago.  I am a gun owner, avid hunter and former shooting sports instructor.  The right to keep and bear arms is something I don't take lightly.  The 2nd Amendment is there so people have a way to protect themselves, and as the Sheriff, I will enforce the laws that guarantee them that right.  

I have also been in contact with local and state officials to express these sentiments.   The Louisiana Sheriffs' Association is currently evaluating all proposals delineated in the President's recent address about gun violence.  The LSA is also in the process of assessing for our membership the impact upon law enforcement and public safety.  

It is important to note that last November, Louisiana voters made their voice heard by overwhelmingly approving a state Constitutional amendment that gives the state the strongest gun laws in the nation requiring "strict scrutiny" of any restriction on the right to keep and bear arms.  

I also want our citizens to be safe when it comes to firearms, and that's why I'm pleased to offer concealed handgun training and handgun familiarization and safety training.  We also teach gun safety to boys and girls with the Eddie Eagle Gun Safety Program for small children and a shooting sports program for the older children.  

The people of Bossier Parish elected me as their Sheriff to keep them safe, enforce the law and defend the Constitution.  I commit to doing just that.