From Oregon to Mississippi, President Barack Obama's proposed ban on new assault weapons and large-capacity magazines has struck a nerve among rural lawmen and lawmakers, many of whom vowed to ignore any restrictions — and even try to stop federal officials from enforcing gun policy in their jurisdictions.

President Barack Obama is flanked by young children as he signs a executive order designed to tackle gun control (Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

In Oregon's Josephine County, Sheriff Gil Gilbertson said Wednesday that a lot of sheriffs are standing up and demanding the Constitution - especially the Second Amendment - be followed.

And legislative efforts to pre-empt the president's proposals have surfaced in Alaska, Utah, Wyoming, Tennessee and Mississippi.

But legal experts say their actual powers to defy federal law are limited. And much of the impassioned rhetoric amounts to political posturing until — and if — Congress acts.


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