BUNKERVILLE (KSNV MyNews3.com) – A son of embattled rancher Cliven Bundy says Metro Sheriff Doug Gillespie was wrong to say that the family brought armed men to their ranch in the conflict with the Bureau of Land Management earlier this year.
Ammon Bundy, in an “Open Letter to Sheriff Gillespie,” says that “everyone who arrived at the Bundy ranch (men, women, armed & unarmed) voluntarily came to support the constitutional rights that you failed to defend.”
The confrontation stems from Bundy’s refusal to pay federal grazing fees and the BLM’s attempt to take Bundy's cattle beginning on April 5. One week later, the agency stopped its roundup and returned the confiscated cattle.
Bundy's supporters arrived from states all over the country; the protest grew daily from the start of the BLM action.
Gillespie told the Review-Journal last month that Bundy crossed the line when he allowed states’ rights supporters, including self-proclaimed militia members, onto his property to aim guns at police. The FBI has an ongoing investigation.
“Had you not neglected your duty to defend our rights, the rights of the very people for whom you swore a solemn oath to defend, there never would have been a standoff in the first place,” Ammon Bundy says in his letter. “So while you chastise my family and pontificate about how ‘Bundy should be held accountable for crossing the line’, let it be known that the responsibility for this escalation rests primarily at the doorstep of the Clark County Sheriff's office.”
The letter, which was emailed to media, comes two days after Ammon’s brother, Cliven Lance Bundy, was arrested in Las Vegas on charges of criminal contempt and parole violation.