Sheriff says ‘comprehensive approach’ to gun control needed

Feb. 07, 2013 @ 05:43 PM

Durham County Sheriff Mike Andrews released a statement Thursday on gun control, saying a comprehensive approach is needed to address gun violence.

That approach, he said, includes addressing the mental health system, gun safety initiatives and prosecution of criminals.

Andrews called on Durham citizens to prevent gun crime and accidents by storing firearms safely.

Here is the complete text of his statement:

“Upon assuming this office, I took an oath to uphold the Constitution of the United States and the Constitution of North Carolina, and I am committed to upholding that oath. I recognize that Amendment II to United States Constitution provides that ‘the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed’ and that Amendment IV provides that ‘the right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated...’”

“I am aware of the executive orders issued by President Obama and of his proposals for legislative action to impose stricter gun control regulations. None of the executive orders direct any action be taken by county sheriffs, or other members of local law enforcement. Citizens who are concerned about the President’s legislative initiatives, whether they support or oppose them, should remember that they will require action by Congress in order to be implemented. Contact with your representatives, in Congress and the Senate, is the most effective way to make sure your views are understood and included in the legislative process. Persons who are not sure who their representative is after the most recent redistricting may find out by going to the following website: http://www.govtrack.us/congress/members.

“I am committed to protecting Durham County residents from harm. Gun control alone, however, will not solve the problem of gun violence in our community. A comprehensive approach addressing the mental health system, gun safety initiatives, prosecution of those who commit gun-related crimes, and much more, is required in order to affect change and prevent future gun violence.

“Finally, I ask for the help of Durham citizens in preventing gun-related crime and accidents. Ensure your weapons are secured with trigger locks or stored in a safe, keep ammunition in a different location away from firearms, speak with your children about gun safety, and remember to immediately report suspicious persons or activity to law enforcement. By working together to deter and detect crime, we can ensure Durham County remains a safe and secure community for everyone.”