RUSHVILLE — Rush County Sheriff Allan Rice released a statement that his office will not enforce Governor Eric Holcomb’s mandatory mask order.
Gov. Holcomb signed an executive order mandating face masks to be worn in public places beginning Monday. Since the original signing of the order, Gov. Holcomb has relaxed the punishment of up to $1,000 fine and 180 days in jail for anyone 8-years-old and older that was not in compliance with the order.
Whether you agree with wearing a mask or not, Sheriff Rice felt it was important to protect our individual freedoms and liberties.
In his release, Sheriff Rice noted, “We must guard them at all costs. The members of the Rush County Sheriff’s Office will not be enforcing the mask mandate and will consider it null and void. Please do not call the Rush County Sheriff’s Office with reports of mask non-compliance.”
Sheriff Rice relayed the importance of the oath he took to uphold the constitution of the United States and the State of Indiana and will do so to the best of his ability.
Sheriff Rice went on to note in his release, “The announced order has not been introduced as a bill in the General Assembly and our legislators are not in session. The General Assembly could be called into session by the Governor if the ‘publica welfare shall require it,’ but this critical step has not taken place. Indiana’s Attorney General has issued an opinion in which he believes this to be unconstitutional. I strongly concur with this opinion.”
The Sheriff’s Office does acknowledge the rights of business and property owners and their right to create policies for their property. If an individual does not comply with a business owner’s request for face masks to be worn, these individuals will be issued a trespass warning at the business owner’s request.