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Sheriff takes stand on gun rights

Chris West

Canadian County Sheriff Chris West said Thursday he plans to proclaim the county a Second Amendment sanctuary county.
West, on the sheriff’s office Facebook page, has posted a “declaration of intent establishing Canadian County, Oklahoma, a second amendment sanctuary county.”
West had announced plans to do so last week prior to the death of one of his deputies in a car accident.
He issued the proclamation on Thursday.
West, who is a strong advocate for Second Amendment rights, is one of about a dozen sheriffs across the state to issue such proclamations.
“We felt, as sheriffs, that it is important to let people know where we stand,” West said.
State lawmakers, last year, approved open-carry laws that do not require residents to go through any special training or licensing.
Currently, at least one state lawmaker is seeking to have the law repealed.
West said he opposes that move, saying residents who are legally allowed to carry firearms should have that right without restrictions.
“People who follow me know where I stand. This is a Constitutional amendment. It gives people their Second Amendment rights,” he said. “Myself, and other sheriffs, wanted to let people know where we stand.”
West’s proclamation states that he plans to oppose “any and all infringements on the rights and liberties of law-abiding citizens to keep and bear arms using such legal means as may be be expedient, including, without limitation, court action.”
West said no public funds will be used in any manner to restrict the Second Amendment rights or to aid federal, state or municipal agencies’ efforts to restrict those rights.
West said he sees no concerns about worries for his officers’ safety.
“We’re Americans, and gun ownership is part of our American heritage,” he said.
He said the Second Amendment does not require any specialized training to be a gun owner. He called the state’s previous requirements for that training an unnecessary “tax to exercise our rights.”
He also points out that now, as before, when someone is approached by law enforcement, they are required to let the officer know they have a weapon on them.
“I’ve never had any issues,” he said.
His bigger concern is the safety of the public.
West pointed to a shooting last year near Lake Hefner where someone opened fired on the public in a restaurant and was later shot by two people who were on the scene carrying weapons.
“While police and first responders may be responding, acts of violence are occurring. People need the right to defend themselves,” he said.
West said he plans to ask the county commissioners to consider endorsing his stance by issuing their own proclamation at Monday’s county commissioners’ meeting.
That meeting begins at 9 a.m.


  1. C Loveland on February 24, 2020 at 8:33 am

    I do support the Sheriff: How ever please make Assault Rifles illegal or not easy to purchase. Thanks for your time.

    • ron on March 2, 2020 at 3:07 pm

      Law abiding citizens should be allowed to own any weapon of choice. It is not the type weapon that is the problem. The media and anti-gun lobby would like to blame the type of weapon as the cause of the problem.

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