Adding to the local and national discussion on guns, Gwinnett Sheriff Butch Conway has released a statement in support of citizens' right to legally use firearms.
"I encourage all law abiding citizens to acquire and maintain the skills to safely carry a firearm in order to protect themselves and others," the statement reads.
Conway issued the statement under the heading 'The 2nd Amendment." The U.S Constitution's Second Amendment says: "A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed."
Also, it was in response to "the many emails received," the website says. The statement comes just over a month after the Dec. 14, 2012, shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, Conn., that killed 20 students and six adults.
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"Sadly, our society contains those that will harm others when given the opportunity. An armed citizen certainly presents much less opportunity to those that would do them harm," Conway's statement concluded.
Earlier this month, President Obama proposed a series of gun-control actions in response to the Connecticut school shootings.
Also, in his inaugural address this week, Obama made a statement that some people interpret as being soft on the Second Amendment. The president said:
Being true to our founding documents does not require us to agree on every contour of life; it does not mean we will all define liberty in exactly the same way, or follow the same precise path to happiness. Progress does not compel us to settle centuries-long debates about the role of government for all time – but it does require us to act in our time. For now decisions are upon us, and we cannot afford delay. We cannot mistake absolutism for principle, or substitute spectacle for politics, or treat name-calling as reasoned debate.
Also, the Gwinnett Daily Post has reported that Gwinnett's probate court received 8,610 applications in 2012 for firearms permits, up from 4,700 in 2011.