It’s Florida Sheriff Grady Judd’s duty to protect the citizens of Polk County — but he figures it’s their job, too.
One of a growing number of rural and big-city law enforcement officials who openly encourages responsible gun ownership, Judd believes guns allow citizens to defend themselves when police cannot.
“If you are foolish enough to break into someone’s home, you can expect to be shot in Polk County,” Judd said in a statement after a homeowner shot a would-be home invader earlier this month. “It’s more important to have a gun in your hand than a cop on the phone.”
Such full-throated embrace of the Second Amendment as a crime-fighting tool isn’t confined to red states like Florida.
One California police chief is backing teachers in his district packing heat. Detroit Police Chief James Craig has been a leader in urging his community to arm itself. A Maryland sheriff is working with the state’s general assembly to try to make it easier for citizens to obtain handgun permits.
In Oklahoma, Garvin County Sheriff Larry Rhodes and Creek County Sheriff John Davis have each recently reduced costs associated with getting a gun license. Davis is also keeping administrative offices open longer on weekends to allow more people to apply.
“As a result of the ever-increasing violence being committed upon the American citizen and the current state of our country, I encourage each citizen of Creek County who is legally able to fully utilize their Second Amendment right ‘to keep and bear arms,’ as legally prescribed by the Oklahoma Defense Act,” Davis said in a statement.
In Wisconsin, Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clarke is one of the more visible pro-gun faces.
“I want as many law-abiding citizens to arm themselves in this county as we can get so that I have the partner that I need to beat back this sort of violence,” Clarke said during an interview on “Hannity” last week.
The number of concealed handgun permits soared from 4.6 million in 2007 to 12.8 million in 2015, according to the Crime Prevention Research Center. Those numbers match an evolution in the general public’s attitude toward guns. Just 35 percent of respondents in an August 2000 Gallup poll said they felt safer with a gun in the house. That rose to 42 percent in 2004, 47 percent in 2006 and 63 percent in 2014.
Source: Cody Derespina, Fox News