"I tried to be as respectful as possible, but I also needed to get my point across," Mueller said.
Mueller said some other sheriffs expressed support for his stance, but he does not know of any who have pledged to take similar action in regard to potential gun laws. Holly Russell, executive director of the Oregon State Sheriff's Association, did not respond to phone and email messages left late Tuesday afternoon.
Linn County is largely rural and politically conservative. Fewer than 40 percent of its registered voters supported President Barack Obama in November. Mueller said most households in the county have guns.
Though the letter might add fuel to an already hot topic, Mueller said he wishes people could have a civilized discussion about the issue, rather than resort to threats and name-calling. He said he doesn't think the vice president is a bad person; he just doesn't like the path he appears to be on regarding gun laws.
"We don't have to be jerks to each other over it," he said. "If old Joe wants to come out here to Linn County, we'd have a good conversation."
Follow Steven DuBois at twitter.com/pdxdub.