October 2, 2015 1:37 AM EDT

A little over two years before gun violence arrived at his doorstep in the form of Thursday’s mass shooting at Oregon’s Umpqua Community College, Douglas County Sheriff John Hanlin had sent a pointed letter to Vice President Joe Biden denouncing proposed gun-control laws.

In the letter, sent soon after the 2012 school shooting in Newtown, Conn., in which 26 people (mostly children under the age of 10) were gunned down, Hanlin expressed a refusal to enforce antigun laws that he said were “unconstitutional.”

“Gun control is NOT the answer to preventing heinous crimes like school shootings,” he said.

The letter was circulated by multiple Twitter users and also reported by Mother Jones.

Hanlin said in a press conference on Thursday that he would not name the shooter who opened fire at the UCC. “I will not give him credit for this horrific act of cowardice,” he said.

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Write to Rishi Iyengar at rishi.iyengar@timeasia.com.

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