Wicomico County Sheriff Mike Lewis says he and his deputies “will not comply” if Maryland lawmakers follow through with a long gun licensing and confiscation law.
Lewis told Delmarva Now that he believes lawmakers are punishing residents throughout the state for the out-of-control crime in Baltimore. He said, “Law-abiding citizens are repeatedly being penalized because of Baltimore City’s inability to control their crime. And I’m sorry — I’m not someone’s puppet. I’m going to stand up for what I think is unjust and unconstitutional to the American people, including those living in the state in Maryland,” Breitbart reports.
As sheriff, Lewis is an elected official sworn to uphold the law. The mission statement for the Wicomico County Sheriff’s Office states that its members work “to enforce the law impartially.”
Lewis, who has worked in law enforcement for the past 35 years, said he was not opposed to every piece of gun legislation that has been introduced to the Maryland General Assembly. Rather, he only raises issue with the bills that would “further encroach or infringe upon law-abiding citizens’ right to bear arms.”
- House Bill 786 would require a person to obtain a license in order to purchase or otherwise acquire shotguns or rifles — also known as long guns. Currently, in the state of Maryland, residents only need a license to have a handgun.
- violators could face five years in prison and up to $10,000 in fines.
- House bill 612, which would add a Colt AR-15 Sports H-BAR (heavy barrel) rifle to the list of regulated firearms in the state. Lewis said this bill, if passed, would lead to confiscation without compensation.
“There are bills that would truly make it a suicide mission for a sheriff deputy or a Maryland state trooper. There are just so many reasons why this is unjust and unconstitutional.” ~ Sheriff Mike Lewis
If House Bill 786 did pass, it would likely be months or years before it is implemented due to legal challenges. Harford County Sheriff Jeffrey R. Gahler said he supported challenging the legislation through legal channels. Gahler joined Lewis in opposition to the bill.
This is not the first time Lewis has made news with his opinions regarding gun rights. In 2014, he told reporters his office would never let the federal government confiscate weapons, stating it would lead to a civil war, according to the News21 interview. The federal government has not issued an order to confiscate citizens’ weapons.
Chris “Badger” Thomas is a Veteran who served our country as an Army Combat Medic.