Cleburne County, AR –-(Ammoland.com)- Sheriff Chris Brown was born in a small gold mining community in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada Mountains. Ever since childhood, he wanted to be a police officer. His calling stuck with him through college.
During Sheriff Brown's senior year at Tabor College in Hillsboro, Kansas, he took a job as a jailer for the Marion County Sheriff's Office. After graduating with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology/Sociology, he was hired full time by the Salina Police Department. He would graduate the Kansas Law Enforcement Training Center in 2008.
In January of 2011, Sheriff Brown moved to his wife's hometown of Heber Springs, Arkansas. He would start working for the Cleburne County Sheriff's Office in the patrol division. That summer, he would move up to the criminal investigation division.
Two years later, Sheriff Brown would start working for the Searcy Police Department. He would serve as a patrol officer, assistant team leader of the Special Response Team, firearms instructor, and tactical weapons instructor.
Sheriff Brown would run for Cleburne Sheriff in 2016. He would win the election, and the citizens would reelect him in 2018. Sheriff Brown takes his oath to the Constitution seriously. He has pledged not to violate that oath for any reason. He is also an avid supporter of the Second Amendment.
Recently Sheriff Brown has made waves by vowing not to enforce any Extreme Risk Protect Orders (ERPO). These red-flag laws confiscate guns without due process for the target of the ERPO. He realizes that by enforcing these orders, he would be violating his oath of office and betraying the citizens he is sworn to protect.
I had a chance to speak with Sheriff Brown about his duty as a Sheriff and his strict adherence to the Constitution of the United States.
John: You have taken a stance against red flag laws. Why did you decide to push back against them?
Sheriff Brown: Our job as law enforcement and my job as an elected official and agency head is to ensure that in everything we do, we are protecting the rights of our citizens. So often, we remain silent when we see something that we don't like or don't agree with, or in the case of RFLs, is flat out wrong and Unconstitutional. But if we remain silent, we are consenting. Gun control has long been a push from liberal legislators, and for the most part, gun owners and conservative legislators have allowed them to make their noise.
However, we are now starting to see even conservative legislators cave and agree to compromise our rights away. It's time for us in the silent majority to start speaking up and telling our legislators and elected officials that we won't tolerate these gross overreaches. Being the head of a law enforcement agency, and especially being an elected Sheriff allows me to have a strong voice in this fight, but we've got to stand together and make our voices heard. I am pushing back because I am the last line of defense between my citizens and an overreaching government.
John: Do you think the anti-crowd is trying to exploit emotions to get red flag laws passed?
Sheriff Brown: I certainly think that playing to one's emotions is an effective tactic. I also think we have legislators that certainly do that because they know it is an effective tactic. However, I think (and hope) that the vast majority of our legislators bring with them a desire to serve their communities and make their communities a better place. Even though we fundamentally disagree on the best way to protect our communities, I have to believe that's what the majority of legislators on both sides of the aisle are trying to do.
The benefit of using emotion to get laws passed is that most often, facts get overlooked. If anti-gun legislators were willing actually to look at and study the data, they would see very clearly that guns aren't the problem. We have to start placing blame where the blame lies with the perpetrator. Maybe if we start there, we can begin to really pull the data apart and start identifying the true underlying causes of what makes people killers.
John: When you announced that you would not enforce red flag laws, what was the response?
Sheriff Brown: The overall response to my letter and my stance has been extremely supportive and positive. I have had some blowback, but it's been very few people, using the same talking points as what anti-gun legislators push. In each of those cases, I've taken the time to try and educate, instead of ridicule, in the hopes that, through education, we can begin to change people's minds.
We have to see that a lot of the animosity and anti-gun rhetoric comes out of a lack of knowledge and understanding of firearms. Instead of immediately getting frustrated and berating someone who holds anti-gun views, we should be trying to ask and answer their questions and concerns. Of course, there's time to walk away from a conversation when there's no longer a chance of it being productive, but that shouldn't be our default response.
John: Do you hope that more law enforcement officers take a similar stance?
Sheriff Brown: It's my hope that every member of law enforcement, our military, and our elected officials, who all take an oath to uphold the Constitution of the United States, and the Constitution of the state they serve, would stand strong for our rights. Our rights were given to us by God, and our Constitution was written by “We the People” to restrict the government from encroaching on those rights. I believe that we have already seen, and quite frankly accepted, overreach in many areas, so I appreciate people and organizations like GOA who stand strong and refuse to compromise our rights away in the name of “safety.”
John: We hear that we must pass gun control “to protect law enforcement.” What would say to those that use that rhetoric?
Sheriff Brown: I would say the majority of people that hold that opinion have never worked in law enforcement. By definition, criminals don't obey the law. Passing more laws isn't going to encourage or cause them to obey the law any more than it does now. We have seen many, many cops who have been saved by an armed citizen stepping in to help. Passing gun control laws will only restrict the ability of those who follow the law to carry guns, and I would argue, it makes our job even less safe.
John: What would you say the Charlottesville's Chief, who told Congress she thinks they should ban any gun that could kill someone?
Sheriff Brown: As I listened to her testimony before Congress, I was dumbfounded as to how someone in this profession could hold that view. Even by CDC statistics as cited by the Pew Research Center, only about 37% of all gun-related deaths are homicides, and a large percentage of those are gang-related. Overall, our gun-related murder rates today are lower than in the mid-1970s, even though gun-ownership rates have skyrocketed. Murder is against the law. And since criminals, by definition, break the law, if their intent is to murder someone, they will do it without a firearm. Banning firearms will not make our communities safer.
John: Why do you take your oath to the Constitution so seriously?
Sheriff Brown: Ronald Reagan said, “Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn't pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same.” I whole-heartedly believe that, and it should be a priority for every American to defend our liberties. Taking an oath is my word, my bond, my promise. A handshake in this country used to be good enough to do business deals by, but it seems anymore that words mean nothing to us. Our young people need to see, and our country is depending on us to start taking our oath, our words, and our promises seriously again.
John: Do you think gun-control makes us safer or less safe?
Sheriff Brown: I absolutely think gun control makes us less safe. The people that are affected by gun-control legislation are the people that obey the law. Taking away their ability to defend themselves only leaves them more vulnerable and emboldens those that are not going to obey the law anyway.
John: Do your constituents support your views on people's rights?
Sheriff Brown: I have had many people from my community, and from all over the state (even from several other states), reach out to me and voice their support for my stance. I think people desperately want their elected officials to stand up for what's right, and to do the things they said they would. It's our responsibility as elected officials to defend the rights of our citizens, and I've seen strong support for the elected officials who have done just that.
John: How can people find out more about your campaign?
Sheriff Brown: You can find me on Facebook at facebook.com/cbforsheriff, or on Instagram under sheriffchrisbrown. If your group would like me to come to speak at an event, I can also be reached by email at [email protected], or by calling the Cleburne County (Arkansas) Sheriff's Office at (501)362-8143. Thank you for your support, and God Bless the USA!
AmmoLand wants to thank Sheriff Brown for taking time out of his day to answer our questions.
About John Crump
John is a NRA instructor and a constitutional activist. He is the former CEO of Veritas Firearms, LLC and is the co-host of The Patriot News Podcast which can be found at www.blogtalkradio.com/patriotnews. John has written extensively on the patriot movement including 3%'ers, Oath Keepers, and Militias. In addition to the Patriot movement, John has written about firearms, interviewed people of all walks of life, and on the Constitution. John lives in Northern Virginia with his wife and sons and is currently working on a book on leftist deplatforming methods and can be followed on Twitter at @crumpyss, on Facebook at realjohncrump, or at www.crumpy.com.