“Be armed to protect yourself, protect your family until we can get there”

Arizona Sheriff Tells Citizens: 'Step up and defend yourselves'

A sheriff’s department in Arizona is calling on residents to acquire firearms and learn how to use them in order to defend against armed attackers or terrorists.

“I wish we could have a cop in every corner, in every neighborhood, in every school… we just can’t,” Pinal County Sheriff Paul Babeu told residents at a news conference Saturday.

Speaking from the Caswells shooting range in Mesa, Sheriff Babeu urged first time gun purchasers to consider taking a firearm safety course which would teach “weapon familiarization, weapon qualification, how to carry and education on the laws.”

“We want a citizen to add to the equation,” Sheriff Babeu told news crews. “Be armed to protect yourself, protect your family until we can get there.”

In a post uploaded to social media site Facebook, the department reminded residents that “You do NOT need the permission of the government to carry concealed in Arizona.”

“We are STRONG defenders of our 2nd Amendment rights,” the department’s post reads. “We call for Arizona licensed concealed carry permit holders to step up and defend themselves, their families, and others, when faced with an armed attacker prior to law enforcement arrival.”

The sheriff acknowledged that the San Bernardino terror attacks as well as the Paris massacre have led to a surge in gun purchases, while also crediting the multiple lawmakers who have recently come forward urging responsible gun owners to carry.

“A lot of people, I go and talk to a lot of citizens in my county and throughout the state, and they’re concerned about additional threats in the community,” Sheriff Babeu said.

The Pinal County sheriff’s office joins other law enforcement agencies across the country which have encouraged residents to responsibly carry guns, despite President Obama calling for tougher gun control measures.

Last week, East Texas Sheriff Randy Kennedy made waves when he invoked Alex Jones in telling President Obama “If you try to disarm us, sir, then you will cause a revolution in this country to occur.”