Canadian Co. Sheriff Says He Won't Enforce OKC Mask Mandate

Thursday, July 23rd 2020, 5:06 pm
By: Aaron Brilbeck

About one-third of Canadian County’s population lives within Oklahoma City's city limits, and the sheriff said he’s not going to enforce the city’s mask mandate.

Last week, the Oklahoma City City Council passed a mandate requiring anyone older than 10 years old to wear masks in public, indoor places until September 8. 

Canadian County Sheriff Chris West said while he isn’t opposed to masks, but he is opposed to the mandate. He said he won’t enforce it in his county. 

“A municipal ordinance is a municipal ordinance and not law. It’s only applicable to that jurisdiction. So there’s nothing for me or my deputies to enforce,” West said.

West said he doesn’t think city and county leaders have the authority to impose such mandates.

“I really applaud the governor that he hasn’t put out any mandates. I applaud the president that he hasn’t put out any mandates. I’m really disappointed in these city leaders and some of these other governors. They’re being tyrants in my opinion,” West said. “It’s like ah-ha, we’re the smartest people and if we weren’t here to make your decisions for you, you guys are all going to die. And I think it just spreads panic so, I’m really about choice.”

Canadian County Commission Chairman Marc Hader agreed and said he’s looking into whether the county can override the ordinance.

“I love order and the proper role of government and this seems like overreach,” Hader said. “We want to explore any options we have in our respective roles that we might be able to protect our citizens from this mandate if possible.”

“I don’t think pandemics negate the Constitution. The Constitution still stands, and so, I’m really disappointed at these individuals that want to issue these mandates, these edicts, to free people,” West said.