Minnesota sheriff calls Walz orders a ‘big government overstep’

"To start to tell you how many people you can have in your residence, I don’t necessarily think that that is any place for the government to tell people."

Sheriff Mark Empting/Facebook

Clay County Sheriff Mark Empting called Gov. Tim Walz’s restrictions on private gatherings a “big government overstep” earlier this month.

“To start to tell you how many people you can have in your residence, I don’t necessarily think that that is any place for the government to tell people,” Empting told KVRR in a Nov. 11 interview.

Empting’s comments were made after the governor limited social gatherings to 10 people from no more than three households. Walz has since prohibited all social gatherings with anyone from another household.

According to another KVRR article, Empting called these restrictions a “big government overstep.”

“I understand what they are doing and what they want to do with the order, but to be able to enforce that would be very difficult and nearly impossible to enforce I think,” he said.

Empting said his office hasn’t “issued any citation for any executive order” and “won’t be seeking this out whatsoever.”

“If we get a call for service on it, we will obviously look into that call for service and take appropriate steps and actions at that point, but we are definitely not going to be seeking it out,” he continued. “Right now more than anything, people want to get together and be with family during this time. To limit that is very, very difficult.”

Clay County is located in northwestern Minnesota on the border of North Dakota and its county seat is Moorhead.