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Home > Alerts & Updates > Alert for 11/5/2013: Why Did Utah's Sheriffs Oppose HB 76?

Update for 1/2/14: Utah Sheriffs' Association president Jim Tracy emailed to contest this alert.  To learn more, click here.

Utah's very own Keystone Cops.

Recent articles on HB 76:

Legislators Hid Behind Herbert's Veto of HB 76

Utah Police Chiefs Overwhelmingly Support Gun Control

Why Would the USSC Chair Privately Lobby Against HB 76 S1?

How Did Your Legislators Vote on the Veto Override?

Legislature Fails to Override HB 76 Veto: How Did this Happen?

Word is Spreading on Secret Vote to Kill HB 76 S1

Is HB 76 S1 a Real Effort or a Shell Game?

HB 76 S1: Will Gary Herbert Foment Grassroots Republicans Against Him Like Mike Leavitt Did?

Why Did Utah's Sheriffs Oppose HB 76?

(Alert for 11/5/13): According to Terry Keefe, president of the Utah Chiefs of Police Association, the Utah Sheriffs' Association also voted to oppose HB 76 S1 (Carry "Unloaded" Firearms Concealed) in the secretive Law Enforcement Legislative Committee (LELC).  Thanks to another citizen's GRAMA request, we now reveal Keefe's email exchange (poor grammar included):

"Yes I will be there [at the rally opposing HB 76 S1] and I hope that other chiefs will be as well.  It is disappointing that sheriff's may not be in attendance even thought they have supported these efforts and vote to oppose this bill in LELC.  It would also be nice if DPS Commissioner Davenport would speak as well since the governor is pushing this press event, the governor appears to oppose this bill, and DPS has also voted in LELC to oppose this bill." [bold added]

As we reported in our June 3 alert, "Utah Police Chiefs Overwhelmingly Support Gun Control," the Utah Sheriffs' Association and individual sheriffs seemed to go conspicuously silent on HB 76.  Previous citizen GRAMA requests produced very few references to sheriffs at all, and nearly all of those took no clear position on the bill.

We pointed out, however, that the Utah Sheriffs' Association president, sheriff Edmunds, holds an official, voting seat at on the LELC.  We now know how he voted.

Secret "Back Channels" Hide Gun Control Agenda

Rather than meet in public and disclose the results of their voting publicly, the LELC meets secretly in the "commission on criminal and juvenile justice" conference room at the state capitol to plot against citizens' rights.  According to their own website, "Meetings are not open to the public."

The Utah Sheriffs' Association could freely use the LELC to promote gun control without any public awareness and scrutiny.  Until now.

Were the recent, bold letter to Obama denouncing gun control to be believed, Utah's sheriffs should have been on the front lines to encourage Herbert to sign HB 76 S1.  As far as we can ascertain, however, no sheriff publicly supported HB 76.

Why didn't the sheriffs simply make their position known?  Why did they go silent and hide?

At least Utah's police chiefs publicly and almost-universally admitted their anti-gun agenda (click here to see how your city officials behaved).  Perhaps they hid, in part, because Utah sheriffs are still elected by the people, whereas police chiefs are selected by city officials and/or bureaucrats.

But Utah's sheriffs are no exception to the underhanded norm, unfortunately.  As we exposed in our June 25 alert, "Legislators Hid Behind Herbert's Veto of HB 76," many other officials likewise prefer to operate through secret "back channels" with brazen deceitfulness that exemplifies Utah's non-exceptional culture of political corruption.  This spider web-like network of corporations, lobbyists, and officials infests every level of government, and overwhelmingly pursues gun control.

Many who take their marching orders from this apparatus, such as these sheriffs, police chiefs, mayors, and councilmembers, hardly seem able to articulate independent thoughts.  They rely instead upon secrecy, layers of bureaucracies, and the ignorance and apathy of citizens to conduct their business.

Sheriff Edmunds Attempted to Escape Earlier GRAMA Request

"I could learn a thing or two from you sheriffs!"
According to an earlier citizen's report, sheriff Edmunds called him within a day of his filing a separate GRAMA request directly to Utah's sheriffs departments regarding HB 76:

"Not long after the first call [from sheriff James Tracy] I received another call from David Edmunds. He apparently is the President of the Utah Sheriffs' association.  We had a lengthy discussion. He was 'disappointed' of my request and stated that it wouldn’t get the results we were looking for. In fact the request itself would make other sheriffs uncomfortable with us and the results would not be what 'we' wanted."

And later in the letter:

"It was rather obvious that Edmunds wanted me to drop the GRAMA request. He asked what I would do with the information I told him that we would publish it... The conversations were rather funny as both Tracy and Edmunds were rather defensive in their responses… as if they had plenty to hide, but were lying about it."

There certainly was plenty to hide.  The Utah Sheriffs' Association was covertly pursuing gun control.

Appropriate Actions

Thanks to citizens who are tired of being manipulated, this ongoing political theater is being exposed.  Here are some ideas for you to consider in holding your government accountable:

1) Invite your county sheriff, city police chief, and police officers to reconsider their offensive behavior.  Rather than pretend to cherish your right to defend yourself, their political actions should be consistent with their lofty proclamations and promises.

2) Network with local gun owners.  Let people know what is happening.  Get them connected with sites like UT Gun Rights so they can receive critical information and form their own, independent opinions.  Sign up for our free email alerts and updates at info@utgunrights.com and "Like" us on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/UtGunRights Encourage others to read, analyze, question, confront, challenge, and understand what is going on around them. A highly informed citizen community is required to resist manipulation, deception, and fraud.  Here are two pages they should familiarize themselves with: 2013 Bill Tracking Page: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly, and our Free Ammo Page.

3) Organize into smaller working groups for your area.  Each of your local politicians should receive political direction from a group of local, determined, solidly-educated gun rights activists.  This group can consider political action such as establishing local email/phone political action networks, literature distribution, holding town meetings, recruiting alternative candidates, election monitoring and participation, and filing GRAMA requests.


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