Despite the juggernaut passage of increasingly restrictive gun laws in Maryland, at least one county sheriff there has taken a stand that has been getting a fair amount of attention, thanks to a YouTube video in which this lawman makes it clear he will not allow his citizens to be stripped of their right to bear arms.

Wicomico County Sheriff Mike Lewis was quoted by USA Today and the Delmarva Daily News, noting, “As long as I’m the sheriff in this county, I will not allow the federal government to come in here and strip my citizens of their right to bear arms. I can tell you this, if they attempt to do that, it would be an all-out civil war, no question about it.”

That statement came from a video that has gone viral, and Sheriff Lewis’ remarks are like a breath of fresh air for beleaguered Maryland gun owners.

The sheriff also appeared in another video, from WRDE, a Delaware television station, in which he blasted Maryland’s Firearms Safety Act of 2013. That statute was passed in response to the December 2012 Sandy Hook tragedy, which did not even happen in Maryland.

“Who am I to tell them what they should or should not protect their families with?” Lewis asked, according to the newspaper. “Who am I to tell them they shouldn’t have a magazine with 30 rounds behind the door when some thug is trying to break into their home? … If you start coming into people’s homes to disarm them solely because you believe they don’t have a Second Amendment right to bear arms, you better stand by. It will be, without a doubt, a civil war.”

Predictably, Sheriff Lewis has received hundreds of supporting messages.

Lewis opposed the law, which has been upheld by a federal judge. He testified against the measure, telling a Senate committee that the law would “do nothing to reduce, suppress or stem the flow of gun crimes on the streets.” At the time he said the legislation was a “feel good” effort.

The controversial interview in which Sheriff Lewis emerged as a stalwart defender of the Second Amendment was reportedly part of a Carnegie-Knight News 21 project called “Gun Wars: The Struggle Over Rights and Regulation in America.” It’s a program conducted by the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University.

Sheriff Lewis has even been praised by other law enforcement professionals, including one retired Los Angeles County sheriff ’s deputy who was shot while on duty, the newspaper said.

He insisted in the News 21 interview that he is not in favor of letting criminals have access to firearms, but that stripping law-abiding citizens of their Second Amendment rights is not the answer to violent crime.

The sheriff ’s remarks have been widely circulated on social media, including Facebook, where the increasing exposure has garnered lots of fans.