I am a passionate Reagan Conservative. I believe in smaller government, rugged individualism, entrepreneurship, self-reliance, the Right to Life, preservation of God-given rights, individual liberties, religious freedoms, free markets, a strong national defense (and a strong law enforcement presence), gun rights, legal immigration, the Rule of Law, and the primacy of the Constitution as written, among other principals.
There are some issues which directly concern the role of a Constitutionally-elected Sheriff, however, for which I have a strong stance, as follows.
Our Founding Fathers were genius and recognized that an armed citizenry is essential as a final check and balance on tyranny. I believe the right to keep and bear arms is sacred and must be protected from infringement of any kind.
To that end, I will join the vast majority of other sheriffs in Colorado and refuse to enforce the gun control legislation the state implemented in the last few years. If I had my way, Constitutional Carry would be the standard, but that will take legislative action to get there.
I will issue concealed carry (CCW) permits to all citizens who want them and who otherwise meet federal and state requirements to have them. I will look for ways to make the process simpler and easier wherever possible.
As a long-time member of the National Rifle Association (NRA), I must address one concern I have with the current sheriff. Despite what he may say about the issue, it’s his actions that demonstrate where he really stands on gun rights, and it’s not with the Constitution.
He has placed an artificial, arbitrary and unnecessary restriction on CCW permits for retired law enforcement officers who fall under the Law Enforcement Officers Safety Act (LEOSA). Under LEOSA, there is no requirement for periodic background investigations, yet the sheriff has mandated they be done annually.
In contrast, civilian CCWs are issued for five years without the need for annual background checks. Arguably, retired LEOs should be considered fairly trustworthy, yet they are subjected to additional scrutiny that is neither required by law nor necessary. The effect is to drive down the number of LEOSA CCWs the department issues.
It’s a slippery slope. If the sheriff is willing to disenfranchise the gun rights of retired law enforcement officers, then he’s one step away from restricting your gun rights. Don’t let that happen.
I will remove the annual background check requirements for LEOSA credentials and make the procedure right with the law. I will look at ways of easing the process for civilian CCWs as well.
I also support open carry and want to encourage citizens to do so if they desire. One of the problems with open carry is hypersensitivity in the public to the presence of firearms. It’s a cultural and social issue that I’d like one day to see reversed. To the extent I can, I will encourage businesses to welcome the open carry of firearms in an effort to more normalize something that in our not-too-distant past was common and without stigma.
I believe in legal immigration. Illegal immigration is a concern because of its impact in two areas: economic security and public safety. When people come to the United States illegally, they are unvetted. We simply have no idea who may be here for criminal, terror, or other nefarious reason. When I’m Sheriff, El Paso County will not be a Sanctuary County.
The current El Paso County Sheriff Office (EPSO) policy with respect to illegal immigration seems to straddle the fence. It rightly prohibits profiling based on race and other factors. But it minimizes the time an individual can be held who is found to have violated federal immigration laws.
In short, it’s a ‘Catch – Hold Briefly – Release’ policy. Individuals can only be held if there is an arrest warrant for a criminal violation. If the person’s only violation is a ‘civil’ infraction of immigration law, then he is to be released.
I don’t think this solves the problem. Consistent with, and in compliance with, state and federal law, I intend to maximize discretion and detain for as long as is permissible and work in conjunction with federal immigration authorities on disposition.
I will be compassionate. I will be fair. But I WILL enforce the law.
Law and Order
One of the most fundamental responsibilities of government is the safety and security of her citizens. The sheriff is Constitutionally mandated to enforce the law. I intend to do so with vigor.
Law-abiding citizens need not fear the sheriff’s office, and quite the contrary, should take solace in the fact that they are safe and that their Constitutional rights will always be respected.
Law breakers, on the other hand, will have legitimate reason to worry. We will bring the weight of the force down upon those who would harm the people I am elected to protect.
I want to focus on crime where it is at its worst, while at the same time never neglecting the rest of the county. Many county citizens live in rural and unincorporated areas. I want to be as visible there as in the densest parts of Colorado Springs. A visible sheriff’s presence will signal to everyone – law abiders and law breakers – that the sheriff’s office is always there providing vigilance and protection.
Next Steps…GET INVOLVED!
Mike needs your help to make this a successful election. Please consider making a generous contribution to his campaign by visiting our Get Involved! Page.
(Note: While he appreciates the interest, Mike requests members of the EPSO to NOT donate to his campaign. He wants to avoid even the appearance of a conflict of interest.)
Also, volunteer to work on his campaign at the Grassroots level. We can always use people who are ready to roll up their sleeves and jump in. Contact the campaign and we’ll discuss ways you can help out.