Sheriff Joe Arpaio now rests near the top of those chief peace officers who vocally support defense of self and others, and exercise of Second Amendment rights. Not only did he ask concealed carriers to protect themselves and each other, but open carriers as well. From fox10Phoenix.com
Surrounded by his posse, Sheriff Joe Arpaio asked armed citizens to help protect malls this holiday season. Arpaio says nearly 250,000 Arizonans carry concealed weapons and many more are carrying in the open.In 2009, Arpaio voiced support of Constitutional or 'permitless' carry. From azcentral.com:
"I'm asking for that group to make sure that if some violent activity occurs that they take action to defend themselves, and also the people around them until law enforcement shows up," said Arpaio.
But Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio said he would support the bill, saying carriers of concealed weapons should not face permit requirements when people who carry their weapons openly do not.In 1997, Sheriff Arpaio raffled off an AR-15 that had been grandfathered in under the then recent Clinton ban on "assault weapons". From the News-Herald, 24 December, 1997.
"A gun is a gun, whether it's concealed or not," Arpaio said.
I hope that you or someone on you(r) behalf at Handgun Control Inc. is not using this single raffle (f)or a legal firearm and the national notoriety of this sheriff to pursue his or her own anti-gun agenda throughout the United States."It is clear that Sheriff Arpaio has been a proponent of an armed citizenry for a long time. He was first elected in 1992, before Arizona allowed for a concealed carry permit, and long before the state instituted Constitutional or permitless carry. To be clear, Arizona always had open carry. Constitutional carry was supposed to be protected in the State Constitution, but legislators and the courts had chipped away at that right from the beginning of statehood in 1912.
Arpaio has been a controversial figure to many, but I have been unable to find any statements by him that he was opposed to the concealed carry law in 1994, when it was passed. His unabashed support for defense of self and others in this holiday season deserves recognition. Not bad for the former head of the DEA in Arizona.
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