Martin Co. Sheriff says his department can't support Federal gun rules

As Congress prepares to take up gun control legislation, a local sheriff says it won't change how his deputies do business.

Martin Co. Sheriff Bill Snyder says what's actually in the legislation doesn't matter.

He agrees with some of what the president is proposing, but he has joined other sheriffs from around the country saying he is not empowered to enforce Federal Law.

Snyder says he supports tighter background screenings and new gun trafficking laws.  

But he says he is against an assault weapons ban and a ban on high-capacity magazines. 

"Local law enforcement authorities are not empowered to enforce Federal law," said Snyder.

"There is disagreement on this as to whether the states can refute, local jurisdictions can refuse to enforce these Federal laws or not. That's really going to have to be sorted out," said Michelle Suskauer, a legal analyst for NewsChannel5.

Indeed, other top cops disagree with Snyder over the role of local agencies.

NewsChannel 5 spoke to West Palm Beach Police Chief Vince Demasi Wednesday evening after he promoted eight officers.

"Our job is to enforce the laws. Whatever laws that we're given, that's what we are going to go with," said Demasi.

DeMasi says increased background checks and executive orders intended to expand access to mental health services are critical - and that anything in can do in the city limits to stop carnage - he'll do.

"What's tragic to me is that we have a society that individuals prey on one another," said Demasi. "You would think that as advanced as we've gotten, that we would have somehow or another gotten away from violence interactions."

Sheriff Snyder say that if the state legislature made changes to gun laws, he would be obligated to follow those.

The former state senator said the chances of that happening were "remote."

 

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