Richard Mack

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Richard Mack
Richard Mack by Gage Skidmore.jpg
Mack in downtown Phoenix, Arizona in January 2011.
Born Richard Ivan Mack
1952 (age 62–63)
Occupation Author, activist,sheriff

Richard Ivan Mack is the former sheriff of Graham County, Arizona, and a two-time candidate for United States Congress. He is frequently referred to simply as "Sheriff Mack." Sheriff Mack is also the founder of Constitutional Sheriffs and Peace Officers Association and established the "County Sheriff Project" movement.

Law enforcement career[edit]

Mack spent eleven years with the police department of Provo, Utah, and then moved back to Arizona to run for Graham County Sheriff in 1988. While serving as sheriff, he attended the FBI National Academy and graduated in 1992. In 1994, he was named Elected Official of the Year by the Arizona-New Mexico Coalition of Counties. He was also named the National Rifle Association Law Enforcement Officer of the Year for 1994, and was inducted into the NRA Hall of Fame.[1]

Mack v. United States[edit]

During his tenure as sheriff, Mack received national attention for initiating Mack v. United States (later restyled to Printz v. United States), a lawsuit against the federal government which alleged that portions of the Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act violated the United States Constitution, because they comprised a congressional action that compelled state officers to execute Federal law.[2] These portions were interim provisions until a national instant background check system for gun purchasers could be implemented. In a 5–4 decision, the Supreme Court ruled that the provisions of the Brady Act in question were, in fact, unconstitutional.[3]

Campaigns for Congress[edit]

Mack ran as a Libertarian candidate for United States Senate in Arizona in 2006.

In 2012, Mack opposed 13-term Representative Lamar Smith, who introduced and sponsored the controversial Stop Online Piracy Act legislation, in the House election Republican primary for Texas's 21st Congressional district. The primary was held on May 29. Mack lost, receiving 14.78% (10,111) of the votes.

Defamation lawsuit[edit]

Mack announced in 2011 that he was initiating a lawsuit against the Southern Poverty Law Center for libel, slander, and defamation.[4]

Personal life[edit]

Mack was born in 1952[5] in Arizona.[1] He is a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and attended Brigham Young University.[6]

Mack, the founder of the Constitutional Sheriffs and Peace Officers Association, suffered a heart attack in January, 2015 and is in recovery. His wife fell ill late last year. Mack claims that because he and his wife are self employed they do not have insurance to pay for their medical bills. As a result friends of the Macks have started a Go Fund Me site on their behalf, asking others to donate to pay for their medical expenses.[7] Mack is on the board of Oath Keepers, a non-partisan association of current and formerly serving military, police, and first responders who pledge to fulfill the oath all military and police take to “defend the Constitution against all enemies, foreign and domestic.”, and is known for supporting Cliven Bundy in his standoff against the federal government. He is also an ardent opponent of Obamacare.

“The States do not have to take or support or pay for Obamacare or anything else from Washington DC. The States are not subject to federal direction,” he wrote on his website, outlining how state governments can block President Obama.

The CSPOA lauded South Carolina for using Mack’s 1992 lawsuit against gun control legislation to attempt to nullify the Affordable Care Act in the state.

The CSPOA is helping to fund raise for the Macks’ medical expenses.

Political views[edit]

In 2009, Mack appeared in interviews on a cable public access show[8] and a one-person website,[9][10][11][12][13][14] in which he discussed his membership in Oath Keepers, and the importance of police officers and members of the military upholding their oaths to the U.S. Constitution.

He currently speaks at various events as "a strong advocate of states' rights and individual freedoms."[15]

Constitutional Sheriffs and Peace Officers Association[edit]

Richard Mack is the founder of C.S.P.O.A (Constitutional Sheriffs and Peace Officers Association)and established the Constitutional Sheriff Movement. The mission of C.S.P.O.A is to liberate the United States of America from being enslaved by the federal bureaucracy: "Pursuant to the powers and duties bestowed upon us by our citizens, the undersigned do hereby resolve that any Federal officer, agent, or employee, regardless of supposed congressional authorization, is required to obey and observe limitations consisting of the enumerated powers as detailed within Article 1 Section 8 of the U S Constitution and the Bill Of Rights." In the Constitutional Sheriff Movement, Mack declared that he would campaign for the Sheriff of Navajo County, Arizona in 2016.


Richard Mack was named Elected Official of the Year by the Arizona-New Mexico Coalition of Counties in 1994, received the NRA Law Officer of the Year, inducted into the NRA Hall of Fame, 1995 Cicero Award, Samuel Adams Leadership Award from the Local Sovereignty Coalition, and Gun Owners of America Defender of the Second Amendment Award.

Campaign for Navajo County (Arizona) Sheriff 2016[edit]

On December 22, 2014, Mack said “We’re gonna make it a constitutional county and show everybody the blueprint for freedom. And there’s a lot more people running for other offices than me. I just said I’d run for sheriff. We’re going to give this one more try. The election is in 2016. I’m going to be moving there in spring of 2015 so I can start getting ready for this. You have about a year and a half to decide. And I’m dead serious about this. If I can move there, so can you.”


In April, 2014, Mack asserted that as part of the citizen response to the Bundy standoff that "We were actually strategizing to put all the women up at the front. If they're gonna start shooting, it's going to be women that are gonna be televised all across the world getting shot by these rogue federal officers." [16]


Mack has authored several books relating to gun laws, ownership and the role that law enforcement should play in America.

  • The County Sheriff America's Last Hope
  • The Proper Role of Law Enforcement
  • From My Cold Dead Fingers: Why America Needs Guns with Timothy Robert Walters (1994)
  • THE NAKED SPY: His Mission Began the Day He Died (2005)
  • The MAGIC of Gun Control (2011)


External links[edit]