Cedar County Sheriff Discusses Gun Rights

By Jill Kasparie, Reporter

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By Jill Kasparie

TIPTON, Iowa - New gun control proposals have stirred intense debate across the nation and even right here at home.

The Cedar County Sheriff stood up for gun right at a standing-room only forum in the basement of the Cedar County Courthouse on Tuesday night.

Sheriff Warren Wethington asked the democrats to host a forum on the topic he feels passionate about: gun control.

"This is my attempt to reach across the aisle,” Sheriff Wethington said.

"Any further infringement in gun laws is only going to hurt good people, and I'm not going to be a part of it,” he added.

The sheriff shared his republican beliefs saying there are misconceptions about the proposed gun legislation. He shined the spot light on guns county residents own that could become part of the ban. Many piped up with questions.

“Would taking our guns away from us stop that maniac from walking into a school and shooting those children?” one man asked.

“We have so many problems now, are we creating another one?” asked another man.

Cedar County Democratic Chair Larry Hodgden agreed to the forum. He's in favor of the president's gun proposals to stop more violence.

“You can’t guarantee that it won’t happen anywhere," Hodgden said. "So, I think it’s important to take a look at the overall issue and try to reduce it nationwide."

He sat through the forum, listening to all of the opinions. The democratic chair said he didn’t see eye to eye with the sheriff.

"I don't share many of the sheriff's views," Hodgden said. "He knows that, I've discussed it with him before."

Sheriff Wethington wasn’t afraid to stand up for what he believes in, even though he might be one of the few in the state that wears the sheriff’s badge.

“I’m the only sheriff in the state of Iowa that said I’m not going to assist the federal government in any federal gun laws,” Sheriff Wethington said.

The sheriff believes in stronger background checks and also wants more resources devoted to mental health. He also supports training teachers in self-defense, and is even willing to give some school leaders in the county Tasers to protect themselves.

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