Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio on Wednesday suggested he may not enforce some of the new federal gun laws unveiled by the White House.
During an interview with conservative radio host Mike Broomhead, Arpaio said he took an oath to defend the Constitution and he won’t carry out policies that run counter to the founding document.
“Now if they’re going to tell the sheriff that he’s going to go around picking up guns from everybody, they’re going to have a problem,” the Maricopa County, Ariz. sheriff said. “I may not enforce that federal law.”
Asked by Broomhead if he would instruct his deputies to confiscate high-capacity magazines or assault weapons if they were made illegal under federal law, Arpaio responded with an emphatic “no.”
“I said before, I’m going to arm all my deputies — a month ago I said before this — with automatic weapons and semi-automatic weapons,” Arpaio said. “We’re going to be able to fight back…I don’t care what they say from Washington.”
It’s a familiar line from the tough-talking sheriff, who has been the target of federal lawsuits for alleged racial discrimination against Latinos despite his repeated insistence that he is simply upholding the law of the land. After securing a sixth term in November, a defiant Arpaio said he would continue to “enforce all the laws, including illegal immigration.”
“Nothing changes,” he said on Election Night.
Listen to Arpaio’s interview with Broomhead: