Richard Mack is the former sheriff of Graham County, Arizona, and a two-time candidate for United States Congress. He is frequently referred to simply as “Sheriff Mack.” Sheriff Mack is also the founder of Constitutional Sheriffs and Peace Officers Association (CSPOA) and established the “County Sheriff Project” movement.
Mack spent eleven years with the police department of Provo, Utah, and then moved back to Arizona to run for Graham County Sheriff in 1988. While serving as sheriff, he attended the FBI National Academy and graduated in 1992. In 1994, he was named Elected Official of the Year by the Arizona-New Mexico Coalition of Counties. He was also named the National Rifle Association Law Enforcement Officer of the Year for 1994, and was inducted into the NRA Hall of Fame.
During his tenure as sheriff, Mack received national attention for initiating Mack v. United States (later restyled to Printz v. United States), a lawsuit against the federal government which alleged that portions of the Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act violated the United States Constitution, because they comprised a congressional action that compelled state officers to execute Federal law. These portions were interim provisions until a national instant background check system for gun purchasers could be implemented. In a 5–4 decision, the Supreme Court ruled that the provisions of the Brady Act in question were, in fact, unconstitutional.
Mack ran as a Libertarian candidate for U.S. Senate in Arizona in 2006. In 2012, Mack opposed 13-term Representative Lamar Smith, who introduced and sponsored the controversial Stop Online Piracy Act legislation, in the House election Republican primary for Texas’s 21st Congressional district. The primary was held on May 29. Mack lost, receiving 14.78% (10,111) of the votes.
The mission of CSPOA is to liberate the United States of America from being enslaved by the federal bureaucracy: “Pursuant to the powers and duties bestowed upon us by our citizens, the undersigned do hereby resolve that any Federal officer, agent, or employee, regardless of supposed congressional authorization, is required to obey and observe limitations consisting of the enumerated powers as detailed within Article 1 Section 8 of the U S Constitution and the Bill Of Rights.” In the Constitutional Sheriff Movement, Mack declared that he would campaign for the Sheriff of Navajo County, Arizona in 2016.