Sheriff Cannon says he may choose not to enforce new gun laws

CHARLESTON COUNTY, SC (WCSC) - Charleston County Sheriff Al Cannon says he may choose not to enforce new gun control laws he thinks are unconstitutional and will fight legislation that attacks the second amendment.

Cannon said during a press conference Thursday morning, that anti-gun supporters are taking advantage of the tragedy in Newtown, Conn. and wanted to address the gun law controversy because of people he says have an agenda to eliminate firearms.

"I believe in all my heart that there are those who have an agenda that is aimed at firearms and eliminating firearms," Cannon said. "And they are taking advantage of the broken hearts of Americans and people all around the world. They're taking advantage of the fact that many Americans don't know much about firearms."

Cannon said the assault weapon ban would breed a whole new group of criminals and is worried about law abiding citizens being prosecuted if President Barack Obama proposal becomes law.

"An officer is obligated and has a duty not to follow an unlawful order. And it's left up to that individual to determine and asses whatever the order he is given is lawful," Cannon said."I intend to do that with any piece of legislation, whether it comes from Washington or the state that deals with the second amendment and has the effect of restricting what I think is a vital, vital right."

On Wednesday, President Barack Obama unveiled the most sweeping proposals for curbing gun violence in two decades, pressing a reluctant Congress to pass universal background checks and bans on military-style assault weapons and high-capacity ammunition magazines like the ones used in the Newtown, Conn., school shooting.

"I'm telling you that it will not do anything," Cannon said of banning high-capacity magazines."Nor will banning assault rifles to protect the safety of students, and the effects we make putting police officers in schools do not guarantee the safety of students."

The president vowed to use "whatever weight this office holds" to press lawmakers into action on his $500 million plan. He is also calling for improvements in school safety, including putting 1,000 police officers in schools and bolstering mental health care by training more health professionals to deal with young people who may be at risk.

Copyright 2013 WCSC. All rights reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.