Gwinnett sheriff posts statement supporting gun rights

In this 2010 file photo, Gwinnett County Sheriff Butch Conway addresses the media during a press conference.

In this 2010 file photo, Gwinnett County Sheriff Butch Conway addresses the media during a press conference.

LAWRENCEVILLE -- Gwinnett County Sheriff Butch Conway has released a statement in support of gun owners.

Conway posted the statement prominently on his department's website on Tuesday, a spokesman confirmed, calling it in response to "the many emails received."

It was featured under a tab marked "The 2nd Amendment," displayed at the top of the page.

"I encourage all law abiding citizens to acquire and maintain the skills to safely carry a firearm in order to protect themselves and others," Conway said.

"Sadly, our society contains those that will harm others when given the opportunity," the statement continued. "An armed citizen certainly presents much less opportunity to those that would do them harm."

The sheriff's statement was posted amid a roaring firearms debate and less than week after President Barack Obama released his administration's aggressive proposal for stronger gun control, which included 23 executive actions and about a dozen proposed Congressional actions.

Shortly after mentioning the children of Newtown, Conn., in his second inauguration speech Monday, Obama hinted at debate over the Second Amendment.

"Being true to our founding documents does not require us to agree on every contour of life," he said. "It does not mean we all define liberty in exactly the same way or follow the same precise path to happiness. Progress does not compel us to settle century's long debates about the role of government for all time, but it does require us to act in our time."

Gwinnett County's probate court received a total of 8,610 applications for firearms permits in 2012, nearly doubling the 2011 total of 4,700. The office saw more than 900 applicants in December alone.


lostnoz 2 years, 8 months ago

I just wonder how many other emails he got? I know I sent one on Sunday on Facebook and didn't get a response but this will do nicely!!!!


NorcrossDot 2 years, 8 months ago

Good for you Sheriff Conway. I have already followed your instructions. I too asked why others had not followed the leaders protecting our 2nd amendment rights!


JV 2 years, 8 months ago

I applaud our Sheriff for his thoughtful response and practical recommendations. He is an experienced and accomplished law enforcement officer and very aware of the realities of the world we live in.


DavidBrown 2 years, 8 months ago

I strongly disagree with Sheriff Conway on this issue.


FordGalaxy 2 years, 8 months ago

What would you prefer, then, David?


jack 2 years, 8 months ago

That police arrive in time to call the coroner.

Must operate a mortuary or florist shop.


GregRodgers 2 years, 8 months ago

I think people should be allowed to own a gun.

I also do believe that there is no need for assault weapons to be in the hands of citizens. These weapons are for the police and our military.

I also do not believe that guns should not be carried in a church, restaurant, airport or any other faciltiy where people may congregate.

While it is true that having a gun may protect yourself and others, the downside is that your weapon can also be taken from you and used against you and others.

We have too many guns in the hands of people. More people are killed by guns in this country than then any other country in the world. I fully understand the second amendment and our rights. However, we also cannot forget that there are mentally disturbed people who buy guns legally. There are people who steal legal guns (see Dacula a few weeks ago).

I think people need to wake up and see what is going on in society and think about the greater good rather than selfish..."Don't take away my gun nonsense". Just because YOU are law abiding does not mean the guy next to you in line at the gun show is.

Again, I believe folks should be allowed to own a gun, but we have to change the way folks can get them and certain weapons need not be allowed in society.


notblind 2 years, 8 months ago

With sure, swift and harsh punishment of the evil people in our midst the 'gun problem' would cease to be a problem. As it is now prison is just another welfare program.


Award88 2 years, 8 months ago

“Assault Weapon” is not a gun term. It’s a political term.

The problem is the term "assault rifle." If you look up what assault is, it's anything that promotes a sense of apprehension in a potential victim - which includes a raised fist. As such, just about ANYTHING can be an "assault weapon:" rocks, baseball bats, knives, guns, fists, feet.... Legally, any threat with a potential weapon is assault. A threat with a weapon that can cause great bodily harm is assault with a deadly weapon. USING the weapon is BATTERY - not assault.

A weapon designed to be used by police or military in a tactical situation - forced entry and search of a suspected stash house, for instance - is a TACTICAL weapon, not an assault weapon. But the media and the morons in Congress won't use the term "tactical weapon" because THAT term defines a useful purpose for the weapon. And that purpose is just as useful if a homeowner wants a tactical weapon to protect their home from a potentially dangerous criminal engaged in unauthorized entry as it is for a police officer defending himself against a potentially dangerous criminal in an arrest.

If the person's reason for having the firearm is not tactical, then it's not a tactical weapon. Purpose dictates the term to be used. So if a rancher wants an AR-style rifle for controlling vermin on his ranch, it's a hunting rifle - not a tactical rifle. (With large ranches in my part of the world, the rifle of choice is often the "mini 14" - which everyone around here calls a "ranch gun" because of its popularity for controlling vermin on ranches.) If a person wants the rifle to shoot recreationally on a range, it's a "sporting rifle," and those with a modern form are referred to as "modern sporting rifles." The AR15 is a typical modern sporting rifle, and because it's use is not intended for actions against people when obtained for this purpose, it's called a "rifle," "gun," or "firearm" - not a "weapon" as the term "weapon" implies use against people. Similarly, if a gun is used for competition, it's called a "competition rifle," not a "weapon." A match-grade AR15 is a modern competition rifle.

Additionally, I would like to point out that gun violence has declined as the rate of gun ownership and the number of concealed carry holders has continued to increase. During the last "assault weapons" ban there were on average, over 700 murders a year with the "assault weapons" subject to the ban. In 2011 that numbers was around 350, despite there not being a ban. The reality is your proposals for restricting certain types of weapons, will not do anything to curtail gun violence. We already have laws on the books that prohibit criminals from possessing firearms and from using weapons in the commission of crimes. One last statistic for you, enforcement and prosecution of federal gun laws is down over 40% during the Obama administration as compared to the Bush administration. Enforce the current laws.


Cindun100 2 years, 8 months ago

I doubt he handles sheriff-business via Facebook. Media sites should be a way for him to just be casual (though professional, of course) with friends.


NewsReader 2 years, 8 months ago

Thank you Sheriff Conway. Glad to see someone with backbone to stand up and uphold their oath to "...preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States."


toby 2 years, 8 months ago

Just because obama doesn't believe in the Constitution does not mean we the people don't. Because the judicial system has become a joke where criminals go in for a rest and then returned to the life of crime, we should all carry a gun to help the police. They can't be everywhere. The lady in Grayson helped the police. Keep in mind that the people who are for abortions and against the death penalty are running this country.


RiggaTony 2 years, 8 months ago

Good for sheriff Conway. I just hope he's able to be steadfast when the Obummer administration finally decides to unleash their communist plans to turn this country into Nazi Germany and take away our guns. Men like Conway have to remember that their job is protect the will of the people, not uphold terrible laws enacted by foriegn-born presidential usurpers who want to destroy this country.


Stu 2 years, 8 months ago

Here we go again. This is the kind of statement that makes Gwinnett a national laughingstock. Let me get this straight. The solution to gun violence is . . . even more guns? Didn't someone once say that the definition of insanity is to keep doing the same thing over and over, and expect a different result? Folks, if the key to public safety and happiness was an ample supply of guns, Americans would be living in Nirvana. We have among the weakest gun laws and the most guns per capita of any country in the world. Somehow, though, we don't seem to be very safe.

When even a minor shooting happens in Canada or the UK, it's huge news for months. When a mass shooting happens in the U.S., it's quickly forgotten or eclipsed by an even worse shooting. It takes the massacre of kindergarten students to catch our attention and give us pause.

I hate to break it to you, but if you are planning to use guns to stave off a government tyranny, you're out of luck. That might have worked 200 years ago, but even if you're armed to the teeth with assault weapons, you won't hold out long against bombers and tanks. Not only that, the successful movements to overthrow dictatorships recently have been nonviolent. Look at what happened in Egypt and Tunisia. Or look at what happened right here in Georgia in recent memory. A group of brave African American and white freedom fighters took on one of the most brutal tyrannies in history -- JIm Crow -- and won. And they did so nonviolently. The guns were all on the other side.

Another fallacy is that only criminals use guns to commit crimes, and that law-abiding citizens only use guns to defend themselves against strangers who have invaded their homes. In the real world, many gun-related homicides are committed by law-abiding citizens against spouses or friends in a moment of rage, madness, or intoxication. If a gun hadn't been handy, the homicide wouldn't have happened. Not to mention that guns are the method of choice for men who commit suicide. In fact, having a gun in the home probably makes us less safe, not more so. We could test whether this was true if the NRA hadn't successful suppressed scientific studies on this topic so that they can spout their junk science unchallenged. Makes you wonder what they're so afraid of, if the facts are really on their side.

I hate to break it to you, but if our good sheriff's vision comes true, Gwinnett won't look like a 1950s sitcom rerun where we're all happily armed and magically safe. It will look like Somalia -- a no-holds-barred free-for-all where the guys with the biggest guns win. That's not democracy -- it's anarchy. And it's not much of a future to look forward to.


jack 2 years, 8 months ago

I hate to break it to you......
As many as 300 dead and 700 injured in Tunisian uprising

840 dead, 6000 injured in Egyptian revolution.

Not so nonviolent.


news2me 2 years, 8 months ago

This is the kind of statement that makes Gwinnett a national laughingstock

Stupid - Conway's comments are neutral compared to what other sheriff and LE agencies around the country are saying. Good luck finding a gun free utopia to live in the US.



Hoyt99 2 years, 8 months ago

You are free to move to Canada or the UK anytime. I will gladly rent a moving truck for you. I might even help you move if you ask real nice.

Based on your logic cars, planes, and hospitals should all be banned as well. They kill or injure far more people than guns each year. Just look at the drunk guy that caused 15+ wrecks and killed an innocent person earlier this week. I don't hear anyone proposing that we ban cars. The car was the weapon in this case but it didn't cause the death by itself. It was an drunk idiot.

Hospitals kill over 100,000 people a year. Should we ban those as well?

As far as the NRA, they are just the other side of the Brady group which has been known to misrepresent facts to suit their own agenda.

I am proud of Conway for making a stand on this debate. It takes a lot to do that when you know the media is going to attack you for your beliefs.


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