Liberty County Sheriff Arrest Spurs 2nd Amendment Discussion - WMBB News 13 - The Panhandle's News Leader

Liberty County Sheriff Arrest Spurs 2nd Amendment Discussion

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Days after Liberty County's Sheriff is arrested on charges of official misconduct, the story gains traction across the nation as a response to the hot button issue of 2nd Amendment rights.

The Florida Department of Law Enforcement alleges Sheriff Nicholas Finch destroyed or removed official arrest documents from the Liberty County Jail for a suspect who was carrying an illegally concealed weapon.

Yet, the buzz around the arrest points to finch as a defender of the right to bare arms.

Some say he did nothing wrong.

Many pro-gun groups are heralding finch as a martyr for the second amendment, taking a metaphorical bullet to defend the suspect's constitutional rights at the expense of his job

The question is whether or not this holds up.

"Finch did not break the law," said one blogger via YouTube.

She asserted Finch did nothing wrong when he cleared the name of arrest suspect Floyd Eugene Parish, arrested in March for carrying an illegal concealed firearm.

The record states that Finch allegedly instructed staff to release parish without filing charges and then took the arrest file.

The FDLE report states 3 times that finch referenced the 2nd amendment to explain his motives.

While the FDLE calls the move potentially corrupt under a Florida statute, others call Finch a champion.

"If you believe that Sheriff Finch had a duty to uphold the law, even though that law is unconstitutional then you believe that Rosa Parks should be back in the back of the bus," said the same blogger.

It's harder to believe for former Bay County Republican Chair, Bobby Roberts. The pro-gun advocate and permit holder says the issue of 2nd amendment rights is an emotional one…

"I do not believe this is a second amendment right issue. I think it's something you kinda have to sit back and you...and you really have to think...what really is the question? In this particular case, I'm not sure if the question is really about the second amendment," said Roberts.

Instead, he believes that protocol must come first.

"I'm a firm believer in the second amendment, but I also believe things are controlled by law," he said.

In a statement by Finch's attorney, Jimmy Judkins, he states:

"The records at the jail show exactly what happened in this case and the records speak the truth. The sheriff looked at the facts and said 'I believe in the second amendment and we're not going to charge him.' That is not misconduct at all. That is within the Sheriff's prerogative whether to charge someone or not."

Finch was released Tuesday on his own recognizance. His trial is slated for July.