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Sheriffs from each of Utah’s 29 counties have released a joint statement reiterating support for individuals’ rights to bear arms.

Cache County Sheriff and President of the Utah Sheriffs’ Association Chad Jensen released the statement on Friday.

“Importantly, the Second Amendment of our divinely inspired Constitution clearly states ‘…the right of the people to keep and bear Arms shall not be infringed,’” the statement reads.

“We hereby recognize a significant principle underlying the Second Amendment: the right to keep and bear arms is indispensable to the existence of a free people.”

The sheriffs pledge in the statement to do “everything within our power” to protect Second Amendment and other individual rights enumerated in the constitution. They also encourage citizens to engage to join the sheriffs in “respectful, peaceful and orderly processes established by the constitution for protecting individual rights …”

“As members of the human family, we value the sanctity of life. We live in a time when unlawful violence is commonplace, and along with the victims and survivors of violence, we recognize these tragedies to be irrational, callous and infuriating. Some individuals seek to use any means possible to injure or destroy life or property,” the statement reads. “… we humbly report that we are working diligently to prevent and prepare for potential violence or disaster. In doing so, we feel strongly that the focus of these efforts must be on the perpetrator and properly leading through the potential incidents. It is not necessary or wise to focus on the inanimate weapon, instrument or tool of the crime.”

While the sheriffs’ letter does not specifically mention any proposed legislation or executive action, it follows President Joe Biden’s countenance for gun control measures. Biden has spoken in favor of legislation to address “ghost guns” — do-it-yourself firearms without serial numbers either sold in kits or built on 3D printers — as well as “red flag” laws and closing various “loopholes” to gun ownership.

Independently of the statewide association, Jensen also released a similar statement in April in which he stated “unconstitutional gun control in any measure will not happen in Cache County on my watch.”

That same month, shortly after Jensen made a public stance on gun control measures, Franklin County Sheriff David Fryar issued a statement in support of the second amendment.

“The National Sheriff’s Association and the Idaho Sheriff’s Association are working hard to influence Legislators, both federal and State, to keep our basic rights intact,” Fryar wrote. “I still have faith that all will be well.”

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