By CHERIL VERNON
After being inundated with calls and emails about the subject of gun control in the last few weeks, Anderson County Sheriff Greg Taylor wants to reassure the public that his agency will not seize guns from law-abiding citizens.
“Many people think that the guns are going to be seized. I want to put it out there that I took an oath to uphold the Constitution and I believe strongly in the Second Amendment, the right to bear arms,” Taylor said Wednesday during an interview with the Herald-Press. “If our president did give an executive order to ban weapons and call for the seizure of weapons, we wouldn’t follow that. It’s our constitutional right and it would require a constitutional amendment to change that law.”
Since the Newtown, Conn. school shooting in December, the subject of gun control has been a hot topic across the country, especially after President Barack Obama unveiled a gun control policy reform proposal last week.
“I get emails and questions every day from citizens about this. I would not enforce an executive order. I, nor my deputies, would seek weapons from law-abiding citizens. Nor would I allow federal officers to come into the county and seize weapons,” Taylor said, noting that other sheriffs across the state have made similar statements. “Guns do not kill, people do. However, I do not have a problem with stronger background checks like the president suggested.”
Taylor said he was sworn in to protect the citizens of Anderson County and intends to do just that.
“In my opinion, our forefathers put in the right to bear arms not only for home protection but protection to avoid a tyrannical government. Our forefathers had that in mind when they wrote the Constitution,” Taylor said. “Taking guns from lawful citizens is not necessary. We just have to stop criminals and mentally ill people from using guns.”
Taylor will be speaking at a public hearing on school safety for the Westwood Independent school District at 7 p.m. Monday at Westwood Elementary School and will address some issues relating to gun control.
The school district is seeking input from citizens about the possibility of allowing board-designated school personnel to carry concealed weapons through its “Guardian Plan” proposal.