17 Feb 2014
Tenth Amendment Center Blog
In a move that would bolster the power of the highest elected law enforcement officer in the US, the county sheriff, Senator Dahm has introduced SB1736. After its initial first then second reading it was referred to the Public Safety Committee it simultaneously picking up two cosponsors Representative Echols (principal House author) and Representative Turner.
The county sheriff on being sworn into office takes an oath to not only the US Constitution but to the state constitution, not only uphold the constitutions and laws but also protect and defend the residents of his county. But first and foremost being the elected law enforcement officer of the people of his county, he has a responsibility to the citizens of his county and as such, he should and if SB1736 is passed will not be circumvented from doing his job by outside federal agents.
“A federal employee who is not designated by the laws of this state as an Oklahoma peace officer may not make an arrest, search or seizure in this state without the written permission of the sheriff or designee of the sheriff of the county in which the arrest, search or seizure shall occur…”
There are exceptions for federal lands, “close pursuit or customs and immigration”, that the subject in question is part of the sheriff’s office.
“The county sheriff or designee of the sheriff may refuse permission for any reason that the sheriff or designee considers sufficient.”
If the federal officer who wants to exercise an exception listed in the bill must do so to the states Attorney General.
“The request may be in letter form, either typed or handwritten, but shall be countersigned with the original signature of the county sheriff or designee of the sheriff or by the attorney general, to constitute valid permission. The permission is valid for forty-eight (48) hours after it is signed.”
This bill has what many refer to as “teeth” when it comes to violation of its provisions and those can clearly be seen in the following section:
“An arrest, search or seizure or attempted arrest, search or seizure in violation of this act is unlawful, and individuals involved shall be prosecuted by the county attorney for kidnapping if an arrest or attempted arrest occurred, for trespass if a search or attempted search occurred, for theft if a seizure or attempted seizure occurred, and for any applicable homicide offense if loss of life occurred. The individuals involved shall also be charged with any other applicable criminal offenses.”