South Carolina sheriff says he won’t enforce gun laws he deems ‘unconstitutional’

January 17, 2013

Photo: Post and Courier

Charleston County Sheriff Al Cannon says he won’t enforce gun laws he finds “unconstitutional” at a press conference held this morning.

“I’m required to have this press conference cause I believe in my heart that there are those who have an agenda that is aimed at firearms and eliminating firearms and they are taking advantage of the broken heart that each of us has over this tragedy in Connecticut to push their agenda,” Cannon said.

Cannon said reports that an assault weapons ban similar to the one that expired several years ago would not protect children. It would instead, Cannon said, spawn a different kind of criminal.

“We were told two pistols were found near or around the shooter. We’ve since been told there were four handguns. One of the problems that occurs when incidents like this happen is the misinformation which given out initially by the news media,” Cannon said. “Columbine a perfect example. Columbine was a bombing incident except it didn’t go off. It was not a firearm incident. There was also a school resource officer on grounds at Columbine.”

Cannon equated the current gun control debate to blaming forks for obesity and a movement starting to limit the number of tines on a fork to offset obesity.

So, what do you think? Is it all right for a law enforcement official to say he won’t enforce laws?

Some people have called for Cannon’s resignation, creating a petition to gain traction for the effort. If you agree this sheriff ought to resign, you can sign the petition here.


UPDATE 1/20/13:

Below is a message that Al Cannon, Charleston County Sheriff asked us to pass along in response to the petition “Sheriff Al Cannon should resign” (, which you signed. This message was sent through the system, and your email address has NOT been shared with the sender.


Go to for the video of the entire press conference to see if reports are a fair representation of what I said.  Sheriff Al Cannon


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  • Brandy Harlan

    *sorry for the bad capitalization, the site is super slow on my mobile.

  • Brandy Harlan

    The constitution is a wonderful document that double backs on its self. with the approval of a state into the union the state also creates it’s own constitution. This is yet another process that checks the power of the United State’s constitution. it is therefore the duty of the sheriff to make decisions based on his state’s constitution and the United State’s constitution. You must remember a sheriff is elected, is a government official and is obligated to serve both of his constitutions. if his constituents don’t like the way he is running things they will vote him out.

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