Orange County Sheriffs’ Office Position on Gun Control
Orange County Sheriff’s office join our Nation as we mourn
the loss of the precious lives at Sandy Hook Elementary
School on December 14, 2012. In the aftermath of that
tragic day, much focus has been directed at issues
pertaining to guns and gun control.
While the debate stirs strong feelings across our country,
Orange County Sheriff’s office has taken an oath to uphold
the Constitution of the United States and the Constitution
of the State of Vermont. Furthermore, we have sworn to do
this according to law and to the best of our ability.
The 2nd Amendment to the United States Constitution
guarantees our citizens the right to keep and bear arms. As
sheriff I recognize the rule of law and that the United
States Supreme Court and our State courts have the
authority to determine the constitutionality of all laws.
The 2nd Amendment is no stranger to debate and has faced
challenges since it was adopted by our forefathers in 1791.
Now, just as then, it has been made very clear; law abiding
citizens are guaranteed this right so that they may protect
themselves from those who would place them in harm’s way.
While much of the debate has focused on firearms, Orange
County Sheriff’s office believe firearms are inanimate
objects that have no will of their own. They are merely
instruments of violence exploited by those with evil
intent. I also believe the energy of this debate would be
better focused on the issues upon which we agree. It is
critical that we continue to work to keep firearms out of
the hands of those who would use them to commit acts of
violence against our citizens.
We must increase our efforts to identify individuals with
malevolent intent in advance and better use the system
currently in place to prevent them from gaining access to
firearms. The approach to this multi-faceted problem must
be comprehensive in nature. In addition to the vigorous
prosecution for those who break the law, we must also focus
our efforts on strengthening the safety and security of our
school facilities, providing better access to mental health
treatment, and enhancing training and resources for those
who may be targets of violence.
Orange County Sheriff’s office also recognizes that no
attempt to prevent the violence that occurred at Sandy Hook
will be complete unless we find a way to address the
culture of violence that negatively impacts today’s youth.
While these tasks may seem daunting, my office stand ready
for the challenge and the opportunity to address these
As Orange County’s Constitutional Sheriff, I remain focused
on solutions, but we will not accept any concept that
separates law abiding citizens from their 2nd Amendment
Rights without due process. The authority of the Office of
Sheriff is derived from the Vermont Constitution and those
who have entrusted us with our office. Those documents bind
us together as a people, both as Vermonter’s and as
Americans. At a time when those who are governed have less
trust in those who govern, it is important that we hold
steadfast in our beliefs. We must focus our attention not
on what divides us, but instead, on what keeps us together!
I have given great thought and consideration to their
position on the current issues pertaining to our citizen’s
2nd Amendment Rights and the recent national discussion
concerning gun control legislation. The position of Orange
County Sheriff’s office is simply that the position of our
constitution. The reporting of our position as a matter of
public record is acceptable in any public form, but, unless
explicitly granted, we do not endorse, nor desire the
Orange County Sheriff’s office name being used without
specific permission. This refers to “For Profit”
organizations using Orange County Sheriff’s name in a way
that suggests we are “endorsing” or “joining” their
positions or statements regarding this national issue.
Sheriff Bill Bohnyak