A prominent gun-control advocate is calling for the resignation of the Oregon sheriff leading the investigation into the recent shooting, who he labeled a pro-gun “conspiracy theorist.”
Douglas County Sheriff John Hanlin ruffled feathers after it came to light that he sent Vice President Joe Biden a letter in January 2013, threatening to not enforce stronger gun laws.
According to reports, Hanlin also posted a conspiracy video on his Facebook page suggesting the government was behind the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting as well as the 9/11 terrorist attacks in a coordinated effort to “disarm the public.” He later distanced himself from the video and denied claims he is a conspiracy theorist.
This has enraged gun-control activists.
Dan Gross, president of the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, said, the “overwhelming majority of Americans don’t want a 9/11 and Sandy Hook conspiracy theorist leading the investigation.”
“We are calling on John Hanlin not only to be replaced as the lead investigator, but also to be immediately removed as sheriff,” Gross told reporters.
“As sheriff, he has shown he has no qualms about putting his ideology over his responsibility to protect his citizens,” Gross added.
The controversy over Hanlin emerged after last week’s shooting at Umpqua Community College in Roseburg, Ore., where shooter Christopher Harper Mercer killed nine people and injured many more.
Shortly after Hanlin took over the investigation, it was discovered that he previously had spoken out against gun reforms.
In the letter to Biden, Hanlin and other sheriffs said, “Gun control is NOT the answer to preventing heinous crimes like school shootings.” Hanlin also suggested he would not enforce stronger gun laws.
Hanlin also posted a video on his Facebook page suggesting government conspiracy theories about 9/11 and Sandy Hook, writing, “This makes me wonder who we can trust anymore…”
Gross called him an “extremist.”
“The sheriff charged with enforcing the law has openly vowed to break it,” Gross said.