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Sheriff in Oregon shooting investigation is vocal opponent of state, federal gun control legislation

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ROSEBURG, Ore. (AP) — The sheriff overseeing the investigation of an Oregon college shooting has been vocal in opposing state and federal gun-control legislation.

Douglas County Sheriff John Hanlin registered his opposition this year as state lawmakers considered requiring background checks on private, person-to-person gun sales.

Hanlin told a legislative committee in March that a background-check mandate wouldn’t prevent criminals from getting firearms.

He said the state should combat gun violence by cracking down on convicted criminals found with guns, and by addressing people with unmanaged mental health issues.

Hanlin also sent a letter to Vice President Joe Biden in 2013, after the shooting at a Newtown, Connecticut, elementary school. Hanlin said he and his deputies would refuse to enforce new gun-control restrictions “offending the constitutional rights of my citizens.”