File of semi-automatic assault rifles
Oconee County Sheriff Scott Berry
Dana Safety Supply in Sugar Hill, GA
Oconee County Sheriff Deputy
SUGAR HILL, Ga. -- A Gwinnett County police supply company is drawing national attention and a lot of heat over its new gun policy.
Dana Safety Supply of Sugar Hill specializes in weapons and equipment for law enforcement, but it also sells to the general public.
Last Friday the company announced it would no longer sell any assault weapons, semi-automatic rifles, to anyone other than police.
That move has prompted a boycott from a North Georgia sheriff.
"I'm not going to use our citizens' taxpayer money or my personal money to buy anything from DSS, it's really quite simple," Oconee County Sheriff Scott Berry told 11 Alive News on Monday.
The longtime sheriff says he's been flooded with phone calls and emails of support from all over the country, including many from law enforcement officers.
He defends the right of any citizen to own an assault rifle.
"The weapons aren't the problem, but we have a mental health crisis in this country; we have a people problem in this country that's not being addressed," Sheriff Berry added.
Dana Safety Supply declined our request to visit their Atlanta area store or to offer anyone for an interview.
Instead, they referred us to a corporate spokesman in Jacksonville, Florida, who emailed us the same statement that appears on their website.
In part it says, "While we support the rights of Americans to own and safely enjoy firearms, we have chosen to sell some select firearms to law enforcement personnel only," which it calls its core business.
The same statement appears on Dana Safety Supply's Facebook page, which has drawn some positive and a lot of negative reaction.
The company did not mention calls for a renewed assault weapons ban following last month's massacre of elementary school children in Connecticut.
It also didn't say if it is reserving its supply of semi-automatic rifles for police agencies since many civilian gun stores have been running out of them thanks to a swarm of buyers who fear they might soon be banned again.