The sheriff overseeing the investigation into the shooting at Umpqua Community College in Roseburg, Oregon, that left ten people dead on Thursday, has declined to comment about gun control in the aftermath of the attack.
But Douglas County Sheriff John Hanlin, who has been praised for refusing to name the gunman as a way to not glorify him, has previously made statements that make his stance on gun control seemingly clear.
A January 2013 letter to Vice President Joe Biden – asking him not to tamper with the Second Amendment – received media attention at the time after it was posted on the Douglas County Sheriff's Office Facebook page. "Gun control is NOT the answer to preventing heinous crimes like school shootings. Any actions against, or in disregard for our U.S. Constitution and 2nd Amendment rights by the current administration would be irresponsible and an indisputable insult to the American people," Hanlin wrote.
At the time, Biden was pushing for stricter gun laws following the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting that left 20 children and 6 adults dead.
In his letter, Hanlin said he would not enforce any federal regulation enacted by Congress or executive action by President Obama that would "offend" the constitutional rights of U.S. citizens.
Hanlin told The News-Review in 2013 that his social media posts on the official Facebook page reflected his political beliefs, but acknowledged, "my political views don't have a lot to do with providing public safety."
He also said he doubted that the national debate on gun control after Sandy Hook shooting would lead to any significant legislation.
Hanlin's posts on his personal Facebook page – which have now been made private – also lay outs his thoughts on stricter gun laws.
Hanlin, who was first elected sheriff in 2009, also spoke out against an Oregon gun-control bill that would require background checks on private gun sales. He said the law was not going to protect Oregonians, it will instead create criminals out of "normal, law abiding citizens."
"To expect law enforcement to run down and do an investigation into whether or not private individuals have conducted a background check is nearly impossible," Hanlin told the Oregon lawmakers. "I urge you to consider this bill closely and to simply not pass it."
The law passed and went into effect in August, according to The Oregonian.
After the Sandy Hook shooting Hanlin shared a video on his Facebook account titled "The Sandy Hook Shooting - Fully Exposed." The 30 minute video goes through a number of conspiracy theories that counter the "official story"
"This makes me wonder who we can trust anymore…" Hanlin wrote on Jan. 13, 2013. "Watch, listen, and keep an open mind."
Hanlin was elected sheriff for a four-year term in 2009. He was re-elected in 2012 after running unopposed, according to the Douglas County Sheriff website.
Adolfo Flores is a national security correspondent for BuzzFeed News and is based in Los Angeles. He focuses on immigration.
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