Arapahoe County Sheriff Grayson Robinson has a different take on proposed gun-control legislation than his counterparts to the north.

In a letter Robinson sent out Tuesday to his constituents, the sheriff said that he supports the right to bear arms, and would uphold the constitution, as is his duty.

President Barack Obama is calling for stricter federal gun laws, including banning assault rifles and requiring background checks for all gun purchases.

But last week, Larimer County Sheriff Justin Smith and Weld County Sheriff John Cooke said they would not enforce laws that threaten the Second Amendment. (Smith later backed off, saying he was just giving his opinion and that he would uphold the Constitution.)

"I don't share that opinion, as I said in the letter," Robinson told The Denver Post Tuesday.

Robinson said his letter is not directed at anyone specifically. He had received e-mails and letters from his constituents wanting to know his opinion on the proposed changes in gun laws, the sheriff said. He said he waited for the rhetoric to die down before making his opinions public.

Robinson said any sheriff has the "responsibility and "accountability" to have their own opinions and to make them known to their communities.


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"My constituents deserve to know my opinion on a variety of relevant issues," he said, "and this is a topic of significant concern."

In his letter, Robinson tells constituents that he takes exception to "the handful of public servants who have suggested that they would reject enforcement of any 'unconstitutional mandates' specifically related to the Second Amendment.

"The rhetoric of the few related to these significant constitutional issues has been interpreted by many who believe that a person in a position of authority might be able to determine the constitutionality of an issue."

In the letter, Robinson also calls for increased access to mental health services, to make schools and churches safer and to vigorously prosecute those who commit crimes with firearms.

Theater shooting suspect James Holmes is being tried in Arapahoe County. He is accused of killing 12 and wounding 58 others in an Aurora movie theater last summer using legally obtained weapons, including an AR-15 assault-style rifle outfitted with a high capacity magazine.

Carlos Illescas: 303-954-1175, cillescas@denverpost.com or twitter.com/cillescasdp