FAULKNER COUNTY, Ark (KARK) – Faulkner County Sheriff Tim Ryals says he won’t enforce a federal vaccine mandate for his employees.
In a letter posted on social media this weekend, Sheriff Ryals says he believes it is a person’s constitutional right to decide for themselves whether they get the vaccine.
In the letter, he called the possibility of a vaccine mandate “an attempt of tyranny.”
“It’s just completely an overreach to be mandating people to take something that we don’t know enough about, at least in my opinion,” Ryals said.
He says just like those who made the decision to get the vaccine, those who don’t want it should have the option not to get it.
“If it works and does the things it says it does, at the end of the day, the truth is if they don’t take it and they get deadly sick, that’s their decision to make,” Ryals said.
James Barbarotto who lives in Faulkner County says he supports the Sheriff’s decision.
“That’s good leadership,” Barbarotto said. “That’s a leader that realizes that his power is derived from the people, not to the people.”
Barbarotto says if the government were to mandate the covid-19 vaccine, it wouldn’t be long before it started mandating other things.
“That’s a slippery slope from a small thing to a larger thing to a larger thing,” Barbarotto said. “If we as a people can’t govern ourselves, we lose the American way.”
Lauren Lacy also lives in Faulkner County and says a vaccine mandate wouldn’t be different from any other laws already in place.
“The government says you can’t smoke in your cars with children because we know it’s unsafe you can’t smoke so close to a building because we know it’s not good for people to breathe in secondhand smoke, I feel like this is the same thing,” Lacy said.
Ryals says if it comes down to it, he won’t enforce a mandate.
Ryals is hoping state leaders step in before it gets to that point and says he would support a lawsuit against the mandate.