In a wide ranging interview on Friday primarily focusing on gun control and public safety, Missoula County Sheriff Carl Ibsen said he would uphold the state and the U.S. Constitutions in protecting citizens' rights.

Ibsen said there are hundreds of laws already on the books dealing with the issue of gun control, and even more would be burdensome on society. However, when it comes to those with mental illness, there is a fine line between HIPAA  (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act) protections and the law enforcement's need for information.

Ibsen said whenever his office needs information on a suspect's medical or mental health history, he must go through the courts and eventually a judge's decision to get it. He said there will have to be greater cooperation between the medical profession and law enforcement before that kind of patient information can be better shared.

On the issue of local school safety, Ibsen said all sides, both pro and anti gun control, will have to look at the issue and come to some kind of compromise. MCPS superintendent Alex Apostle is putting together several committees to work on the issue of public school safety. Captain Brad Giffin will represent the sheriff's department, and this reporter will represent KGVO Radio.

Ibsen said it would be a physical impossibility to have a well-trained deputy or police officer on the grounds at each school in the district every day, so the various sides that are now polarized in their different camps will have to get together, or as he said 'who knows, maybe they won't.',

Missoula County Sheriff Carl Ibsen