RANDOLPH COUNTY — In response to President Joe Biden’s repeated calls to increase gun control measures, Randolph County Sheriff Greg Seabolt issued a statement via social media to offer that “warrantless gun confiscation” is not welcome in Randolph County.
Two mass shootings in the U.S. last month prompted Biden to assert that “common-sense” measures must be taken to address the prevalence of gun violence in this country. For the sheriff, these calls for seizure of weapons are anything but common sense.
“Most Randolph County citizens are well aware of the current push by our federal government, specifically the current presidential administration, to further regulate and restrict the rights of citizens to bear arms,” Seabolt’s office said via Facebook. “Sheriff Seabolt and the [Randolph County] Board of County Commissioners are outraged by this ongoing threat to our most fundamental and basic rights, to bear arms and be free from unreasonable searches and seizures, and are prepared to stand firm in the face of opposition and popular culture to protect the rights of Randolph County citizens.”
On Feb. 3, 2020, the board of commissioners adopted a resolution declaring support for the Second Amendment to the United States Constitution at the behest of Commissioner Kenny Kidd. At that time, Seabolt fully supported and advocated for the resolution. He doubled down last week, stating that the resolution reaffirmed the county’s strong commitment to uphold and defend an individual’s right to keep and bear arms.
Among the requests the president is making, Biden has reestablished his desire to see a ban on assault weapons and high-capacity magazines, urging Congress to pass laws that would make it tougher to obtain those types of ammunition. Seabolt contends that Biden is attempting to circumvent the U.S. Constitution and claims the right to bear arms is “under siege from the federal government and the U.S. Supreme Court.
Warrantless gun confiscation, he says, could come as a result of a Supreme Court ruling that allows a community caretaking exception to a warrant. If officers are performing a community caretaking duty, such as assisting in a medical emergency, they can seize evidence without a warrant.
This would only apply when law enforcement is not performing investigative functions. Seabolt, however, believes it is a way to work around the requirement of a warrant. He points to rulings in lower courts that expand the concept from only applying to vehicles on public roads to now include homes and private property in such instances.
His deputies, Seabolt said, will not enforce such warrantless confiscations.
“Although the courts have sided that law enforcement can apply this concept in private homes, the Randolph County sheriff will not use this flimsy excuse, subjective excuse with the purpose of arbitrarily seizing weapons from law-abiding citizens,” the statement said. “Members of the Randolph County Sheriff’s Office are sworn to uphold and protect the constitutional rights of Randolph County citizens and will not use legal gymnastics to make one’s Second or Fourth Amendment rights moot.”
Seabolt’s office credits the commissioners for their support of the Second Amendment and vows to support the U.S. Constitution. Any enforcement of warrantless gun confiscation, he reiterated, would not be a consideration.
“Sheriff Seabolt and the Board of County Commissioners are outraged by this ongoing threat to our most fundamental and basic rights, to bear arms and be free from unreasonable searches and seizures, and are prepared to stand firm in the face of opposition and popular culture to protect the rights of Randolph County citizens,” the sheriff’s office wrote in a release.
Staff writer Daniel Kennedy can be reached at 336-888-3578, or at email@example.com.