LEE COUNTY — Lee County Sheriff Mike Scott joined sheriffs from across the state this week in signing a proclamation in support of the Second Amendment.
Scott seconded the motion to adopt the proclamation, which says the Florida Sheriffs Association "will not assist, support or condone any unconstitutional infringement of (the right to bear arms)." Sheriffs associations in Colorado, New Mexico and Utah have issued similar letters.
Scott said Friday there are no current regulations he would not enforce in Lee County, but feared further restrictions that would be in opposition of the Second Amendment.
"It's a dangerous time if one man can change the Constitution through any type of executive order," he said, referring to the president. "People say, 'Why would you need a 30-round magazine?' I say, why would you need a motorcycle that goes 200 mph? It's legal — it doesn't matter."
Scott said he would continue to crack down on firearm restrictions for convicted felons but said further restrictions on the general population won't help, since criminals won't obey them.
"Our people are getting shot at too, but we also know we're not being shot at by people who will comply with laws," he said.
Arthur Hayhoe, executive director of the Florida Coalition to Stop Gun Violence, called the sheriffs' statement "disappointing."
"These guys are elected so they tread very carefully when talking about the Second Amendment," he said. "You wouldn't get that out of city police chiefs that are appointed."
Hayhoe pointed to a Supreme Court decision in District of Columbia v. Heller, which ruled some firearms restrictions are constitutional. He also brought up Section 8 of Florida's constitution, which says the right to bear arms shall not be infringed "except that the manner of bearing arms may be regulated by law."
"I wish (the sheriffs) had made a broader statement about it being perfectly legal to control firearms in the state," Hayhoe said.
Scott said gun control does not focus on the main causes of violence, which he attributed partially to mental illness and violent video games and music.
"That's the problem here," Scott said. "It's a complete lack of focus on the real issues."