Babeu to president: Laws created by executive orders are unconstitutional

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By Catherine Holland By Catherine Holland

PHOENIX -- Pinal County Sheriff Paul Babeu is one of many law-enforcement leaders saying that they will not enforce gun-control laws implemented by executive order.

He even wrote President Barack Obama a letter last week and he did not mince words, saying in no uncertain terms that he would not enforce laws created by executive order.

"I am writing you this letter today to inform you that any 'law' or regulation created by an executive order of your office which is contrary to what the Constitution of the United States of America says, shall be deemed as unlawful and shall not be carried out by myself or my office," he wrote. "I will also push for legislation which would make it a crime for any federal law enforcement officer to infringe upon any of Constitutional rights of the citizens I am sworn to protect. Neither myself nor you have any right to infringe upon the 2nd Amendment Constitutional Rights of our citizens."

Babeu sat down with 3TV's Javier Soto Friday morning to explain his position.

"Our Constitution is stronger than any branch of the government or any office holder," he said. "This is literally a constitutional issue; it's a Second Amendment right. The president just can't wave his hand -- he's not a king; he's not a dictator.

"You cannot just say through executive order, 'This shall be the law,'" he continued. "We have a legislative process here in America that this has to go through."

Babeu went on to say that laws that make their way through those proper channels and procedures are different.

"I enforce laws," the recently re-elected sheriff said. "I don't enforce Obama executive orders."

Babeu is adamant in his position, saying that nobody -- not even the president -- can infringe upon or take away an individual's rights as set out in the Constitution.

"I swore an oath to preserve, protect and defend the Constitution," he said. "Regardless of who the president is or whoever is trying to infringe upon these rights, I will fight that."

It's not the guns that are the problem, Babeu said. It's the people who pull the triggers, specifically the criminals.

"The underlying issue isn't the 99.9 percent of gun owners who are law-abiding, good and decent citizens, it's those criminals," he explained. "Criminals will not follow any law. That's why they get their name -- criminals."

But it's not just the criminals who pose a threat, according to Babeu. It's also the mentally ill.

"This is what we saw with [Jared Lee] Loughner right here in Tucson," he said. "We should focus on those who have mental illness, identify them, put money into mental help … [and] suspend their rights. They shouldn't own weapons."

Click the video above to watch the entire interview.