GREENSBORO — Local conservatives are asking why Guilford County Sheriff BJ Barnes isn’t on a list of nearly 300 sheriffs — 13 from North Carolina — who are opposing possible new gun laws they say could violate the Second Amendment. The list, maintained by the conservative Constitutional Sheriffs and Peace Officers Association, also claims statements from seven state sheriff’s association.
“Nothing against any of the other sheriffs who are saying whatever they are saying,” Barnes, who is a Republican, said about the list on Tuesday. “But that kind of posturing just ain’t my style.”
Barnes said he hasn’t made a statement opposing new gun laws because there aren’t any laws yet. “I haven’t seen any new laws that violate the constitution,” Barnes said. “If you show me a new law that violates the constitution, I’d be against it. But I haven’t seen any. And neither has anybody else.”
Reached for comment by e-mail Tuesday, Conservatives for Guilford County co-founder Jodi Riddleberger took a more moderate position.
“Sheriff Barnes is a highly respected elected official, because he truly works to uphold his oath of office,” Riddleberger wrote. “C4GC has no reason to doubt he will continue to uphold his oath of office and the Constitution.” Riddleberger said her group has invited Barnes to a town hall-style meeting next month, where Barnes can give his perspective on the Second Amendment and proposed gun legislation.
The meeting will be held from 6:30 to 8 p.m. March 19 at Tally Water at 3704 Boren Drive in Greensboro.
Barnes said he doesn’t think his perspective will surprise anyone. “My position on this has never changed,” Barnes said. “People know where I stand.”