Sheriff Babeu takes aim at Obama's gun control orders - FOX13 News, WHBQ FOX 13

Sheriff Babeu takes aim at Obama's gun control orders

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PHOENIX -

The battle over gun control has been front and center since the Sandy Hook school shooting. Friday, Pinal County Sheriff Paul Babeu jumped into the debate.

He sent a letter to President Obama threatening not to enforce federal regulations.

The president supports a bill in Congress to ban assault weapons and require that gun magazines have fewer bullets.

The president has also issued executive orders he feels will improve laws already on the books.

Sheriff Babeu wrote a letter to the president saying he intends to disregard those orders if he personally decides they're unconstitutional. Vice President Joe Biden says President Obama believes people have a 2nd amendment right to bear arms but there are limits.

"I am much less concerned about what you call assault weapon than magazines and the number of rounds that can be held in a magazine," says Vice President Joe Biden.

A member of Arizonans for Gun Safety says it's all about common sense.

"You know the value of hunting, the value of self-protection, we can keep those values, but we can also put up there just as high as the value of public safety," says Hildy Saizow, Arizonans for Gun Safety.

While gun control advocates have introduced bills in Congress on assault weapons and ammunition, the president signed 23 executive orders. Some provide resources to schools for more security guards.

Others make it easier for gun dealers to do background checks on gun buyers.

But according to Pinal County Sheriff Paul Babeu, the president's approach is unconstitutional. The sheriff says if he does not like the regulations coming out of Washington, he is not going to enforce them.

"Even though the president is a powerful office there is a constitution and a way to pass laws and not just by a wave of his royal hand -- he is not a king or a dictator he doesn't have the authority to do this," says Babeu.

In reality, presidents do have the authority to issue administrative orders for federal programs that already exist.

Sheriff Babeu survived a scandal involving his former gay lover and won re-election as Pinal County Sheriff in November.

He had kept a low-profile as he sought to rehabilitate his reputation -- but now it appears the sheriff has decided it is once again time to go public in a big way -- to polish his image as a man resolutely opposed to Obama administration policies.

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