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El Dorado County Sheriff Refusing To Enforce Assault Weapons Ban

EL DORADO COUNTY (CBS13) - A local sheriff is taking aim tonight at Vice President Biden by promising not to enforce an executive order to ban assault weapons.

"I thought, 'you know, I do need to say something,'" said the El Dorado County Sheriff John D'Agostini.
The sheriff is clear about his intention and isn't mincing words. D'Agostini sent a letter to the Vice President and he is not holding back.

Laura Cole: Are you prepared to not follow federal law if it were to pass?

Sheriff: If it's a clear violation of the United States constitution, absolutely.

"Gun control is not the issue," said D'Agostini.

After the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in Connecticut, the President and Vice President promised to take action and implement tougher gun laws, which could possibly include banning military-style assault weapons and limiting ammunition magazines to 10 rounds.

In his letter to Vice President Biden, D'Agostini wrote:

"It is well-known and proven with facts, not emotional inference, that gun control of any kind, has no effect on the reduction of crime, anywhere."

But not everyone agrees.

"The data doesn't show that. In fact, in states with strong gun laws there are fewer gun deaths than in states with weak laws," said Rebecca Gonzales with the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence.

Gonzales says she was surprised by the sheriff's letter. She says tougher gun laws will reduce tragedies like Sandy Hook.

"I was surprised, I was surprised that a sheriff would tell our nation's leader/leaders that they wouldn't enforce their laws," said Gonzales.

But gun owners and the sheriff say the issue to target here is mental health.

"It isn't the guns that commit the crimes, it's the people," said Sam Klocsko, owner of Buck Stop Gun Shop.

"We are not adequately dealing with and provide the services with our mentally ill population needs," said D'Agostini.

So the sheriff's hoping the White House will change its focus.

"Don't pass any laws where you are going confiscate firearms and turn my law-abiding citizens into criminals," said D'Agostini.

Sheriff D'Agostini says he hasn't heard back from the Vice Presidents' office and he doesn't expect to. He says other sheriffs around the country have also written letters to the Vice President.

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