Oregon Sheriff Wrote Biden After Sandy Hook

He's long been a strong opponent of new gun laws
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 2, 2015 3:30 AM CDT
Oregon Sheriff Vowed to Fight Gun Control
Douglas County Sheriff John Hanlin addresses the media following a deadly shooting at Umpqua Community College in Roseburg, Ore., Thursday.   (AP Photo/Jeff Barnard)

The sheriff of the Oregon county where nine people were killed in a mass shooting Thursday has a history as a fierce opponent of gun control. A month after the Sandy Hook school shooting, Douglas County Sheriff John Hanlin wrote to Joe Biden arguing against stronger gun laws, the Oregonian reports. "Gun control is NOT the answer to preventing heinous crimes like school shootings," he wrote in the Jan. 15, 2013, letter, warning the vice president against "tampering" with the Second Amendment and saying he would refuse to enforce any law he deemed unconstitutional.

Hanlin—who refuses to speak the name of the Umpqua Community College gunman—also spoke out against gun laws in Oregon, telling state lawmakers in April this year that a bill to require background checks for gun transfers was unenforceable, per the Oregonian. His stance on gun rights is a popular one in the county, the AP reports, although the college's president says guns were not allowed on campus and there was no armed guard. "This is an anomaly and a tragedy," she tells the AP. Of the presidential candidates to address the mass shooting, Hillary Clinton called for "sensible gun control measures," while Ben Carson argued against gun control, CNN reports. (Message board users allegedly encouraged gunman Chris Harper Mercer to carry out the rampage.)

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