Wednesday, March 09, 2016

Chaffetz wants to take guns away from BLM, Forest Service agents

Law enforcement agents with the Bureau of Land Management and the U.S. Forest Service are too "Rambo" to Rep. Jason Chaffetz's liking, so he wants to take away their guns and authority. Chafftez, R-Utah, said he plans to introduce a bill next week to strip those two agencies of their law enforcement authority and instead set up a system of block grants to states with a lot of federal lands within their borders to augment local law enforcement response. "Let's not kid ourselves. The blood pressure is running high, especially in southern Utah, and I don't want anyone to get killed," Chaffetz said, adding his bill has the endorsement of his Utah colleagues in the House. Chaffetz said he also wants to issue subpoenas to the "out of control" federal agencies to learn why they want to purchase submachine guns. He said he has had repeated meetings and sent letters to the BLM's national director, Neil Kornze, with no satisfactory response to his questions. "I want to know what kind of arsenal they have. I'm met with blank stares," he said. "They're wholly unresponsive. They don't feel compelled to answer our letters." Chaffetz said it makes more sense to have elected county sheriffs with public accountability in charge of law enforcement functions in their own geographic areas. "If it is really serious, you're going to call the FBI anyway." The increasing militarization of certain federal agencies has caused political angst and rural pushback in Utah and other parts of the West, especially as public lands issues have become more heated. In 2014, Rep. Chris Stewart, R-Utah, announced efforts to defund law enforcement functions of agencies that include the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Department of Education. Stewart said the armed teams of federal agencies were doing more harm than good and are unnecessary...more


Floyd said...

Congressman Chaffetz is correct and should be supported. Federal statutes already instruct BLM, Forest Service and other agencies to contract with local elected officials (especially Sheriffs) for law enforcement. For example see Federal Land Policy and Management Act (FLPMA) in 43 USC 303(1); 43 USC 701(g)(6) in Session of Laws of 1976; 16 USC 480(Chapter 2); 16 USC Chpt3 Section 551(a). It appears that these and a number of other statutes specifically recognize the authority for law enforcement is with the local Sheriff; and any exercise or police power or of law enforcement by federal officials must include a clear statement of lawful jurisdiction and be limited to violation of federal law.

Anonymous said...

Clearly Congressman Chaffetz understands the constitution far better than most of our political apparatus in power today!