Who’s call to make?

Sheriff Rogers appeared on CNN's "Anderson Cooper 360."
Posted on Jan. 31, 2013 at 12:00 a.m.

Sherrif Rogers says on CNN’s ‘Anderson Cooper 360’ that state, not federal government, should regulate guns.

Emily Pfund


Elkhart County Sheriff Bradley Rogers was featured on a gun control town hall meeting on CNN’s “Anderson Cooper 360” on Thursday night.

Guns Under Fire,” filmed at George Washington University in Washington, D.C., earlier Thursday, included input from several sides of the gun control debate, including the mother of a Sandy Hook victim, representatives from the National Rifle Association, gun control advocates and a woman whose 12-guage shotgun saved her and her child when an intruder broke into their home.

Cooper asked Rogers, who was sitting in the audience, if he thought the government had the right to regulate gun ownership.

“No, I do not believe so,” Rogers said.

Rogers said the U.S. Constitution spells out the powers of the federal government and leaves all other powers to state and local governments. Gun control, he said, is an issue for the states.

“In Indiana, where I’m from, the Indiana State Constitution in article 1, section 23 says that people have the right to arm themselves, to defend themselves and the state,” Rogers said.

Even if states choose to take up the issue of gun control, many are limited in the actions they can take by their state constitutions.

Jeffrey Toobin, a legal analyst for CNN, disagreed with Rogers.

“That’s just factually wrong,” he said. “The federal government is supreme in this, there is a supremacy clause. If there is a conflict between state and federal (regulations), federal wins.”

Toobin said the federal government is bound by the Second Amendment and cannot ban all weapons, but, according to the Supreme Court’s 2008 ruling in District of Columbia v. Heller, can ban “dangerous and unusual weapons.”

Rogers published a Facebook post about the experience shortly before the show aired.

“Anderson Cooper is a gracious host and certainly a professional in his field (even if I don’t agree with his liberal view),” he said of the host. “I met him and he was not pompous or arrogant as some celebs are.”

His time on camera was a blur.

“Don’t get your hopes up on my response — I’m not even sure what I said exactly, but whatever it was, I was lying — according to the legal analyst,” he wrote.

Rogers wrote that his CNN debut was “a bit anti-climatic, but nonetheless, a great experience.”

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