Shults Media Relations is an industry PR firm that supports the constitution. We found this to be a fairly succinct explanation on the topic discussed. While there are no absolutes, there is some fair reasoning.
This contains some concepts that many folks haven't considered. We are not siding with or against the police or advancing excuses for them and we hope it does not appear we are picking on them either; we aren't.
For this work, we interviewed 17 chiefs and sheriffs from around the country. From those conversations (emails and phone) we have some quotes in this work. We were asked not to source the particular quotes and that is fair since this was not an on the record news interview, we just wanted their thoughts and opinions. So, as Joe Friday said, "just the facts ma'am."
When it comes to various politicians and others speaking against gun ownership (the 2nd Amendment and Constitution by definition) politicians will many times cite city and state police chiefs who allegedly may support the anti-gun movement. These politicians may have police chiefs and their officers appear with them as props or spokesmen in news conferences. So the logical question to ask is why are these top cops so seemingly against firearm ownership?
Chiefs are at the beck and call of their political bosses, mayors and city councils. "We chiefs get our opinion on firearm ownership when it is issued to us."--A recent quote by a chief.
A sheriff told us "There is an active debate between sheriffs and chiefs that is affected by the big city chief culture because chiefs tend to emulate each other."
For our purpose here let's just deal with city police, not state/national officials. If city politicians are against gun ownership (Chicago, Washington D.C, San Francisco, and New York for example) and the chief doesn't agree he can (and probably will) be fired or demoted by the mayor or possibly by a simple majority of the City Council. In most towns over 50,000 population chiefs generally get paid between $70,000 and $140,000 a year plus benefits and retirement. Large city chiefs get well over $200,000 plus benefits, retirement and every once in a while you run into a chief earning well over $300,000.00 plus benefits. They want to hang onto that "chief" position, title and income.
This is why you see chiefs and their officers in the background when privileged officials posture against citizen firearm ownership and the Constitution by definition. Sure some chiefs may believe in citizen gun control and may be willing as a backdrop for self-serving politicians--especially if they were appointed by those in power at the time. So whenever a mayor, senator, representative or president wants a show of "top cops" showing support, a message is delivered to the particular city where the top officials are anti-2nd Amendment requesting top cops as props. The chiefs and officers are obediently delivered for props or advised to get their resume updated.
Sheriffs are by and large a different breed. They are elected by the people with a larger proportional number of citizens than city officials. The sheriff does not have to please a few city council members, a goofy mayor (or a governor). Sheriffs represent the beliefs and values of the majority of the area of his or her citizens who directly voted them into office. Yes, there will be sheriffs who do not want guns in the hands of citizens, but nothing like the number of police chiefs who have a near immediate career ending gun held to their heads by anti-Constitution politicians or the chief culture.
And most sheriffs take their Oath supporting the Constitution very seriously. And while they currently follow and enforce Constitutional applicable federal, state and county laws they reserve the power invested in their oath and position as elected officers of their county to resist or not to enforce Constitutional infringing law if or when that might come. If that were to occur, the state police and/or federal government may be ordered to step into that particular sheriff's county to enforce those particular unconstitutional laws. The ramifications of those legal incursions might be very interesting to watch, especially, we were told, if that particular sheriff is actively supported by the citizens of that county.
The bottom line is city, state and even federal chiefs will almost always bend to the will of their political masters--He who has the gold makes the rules." Then this might be something to bring up in various press conferences with officers in the background.