- The Washington Times - Monday, February 25, 2013

A Texas bill that would allow for the arrest and prosecution of law enforcement officials who try to implement certain new federal gun-control laws is really aimed at protecting state sheriffs, said the sponsor, during a television interview on Monday.

Republican Rep. Steve Toth said on Fox News that his bill is not a nullification measure — meaning it’s not aimed at mooting any new federal laws to come regarding gun control. Rather, it’s a targeted approach to protect Texas sheriffs who told the state they would flat out refuse to enforce certain new gun-control laws announced by President Obama.

Those contested gun-control measures were bans on assault weapons and restrictions on ammunition magazines, Mr. Toth said, during a Fox News interview.

“From the very first day President Obama started infringing on our Second Amendment, my sheriff … said he wouldn’t enforce it, and none of his deputies would, either,” Mr. Toth said, explaining the lead-up to his bill. “From that point on, dozens and dozens of county sheriffs around Texas said we’re not going to enforce this.”

Mt. Toth said the sheriffs’ statements set the stage for a constitutional and legal crisis.

“They would [then] be subject to prosecution” by the U.S. Department of Justice and Attorney General Eric Holder, Mr. Toth said. “So this legislation protects them.”

Mr. Toth’s bill would subject state and local — not federal — law enforcement to arrest and charges for trying to implement any federal ban on assault weapons or on ammunition magazines. It’s not a bill to nullify federal law, he said.

“That’s Wyoming’s bill. That is not our bill,” he said on Fox News. “The way to eat an elephant is one bite at a time.”