Sheriff Says He’ll Deputize ‘Lawful Gun Owners’ If Department Can’t Handle Protesters

A Florida sheriff’s department posted a video to the department’s Facebook page, stating that if protesters came to his county and his department is overwhelmed, he would deputize legal gun owners in his county.

The 3-minute video was posted 2 days ago and already has nearly 300,000 views.

The video features Clay County Sheriff Darry Daniels, flanked by Clay County deputies.

In the video, Daniels condemned Black Lives Matters demonstrators by saying they’re “making themselves of spectacle.”  

He goes on to say, “If you threaten to come to Clay County and think we’ll bend our backs for you, you’re sadly mistaken. We have strong backbones….and you’ll have something here waiting on you that you didn’t want.”

Daniels does say that his department will uphold protester’s constitutional rights.

“We’ll protect your Constitutional rights, as long as you remain under the umbrella of peaceful protest or peaceful march but the second you step to from under that Constitution, we’ll be waiting on you,” he said.

“If we can’t handle you, I’ll exercise the power and authority as the sheriff, and I’ll make special deputies of every lawful gun owner in this county and I’ll deputize them for this one purpose to stand in the gap between lawlessness and civility. That’s what we’re sworn to do. That’s what we’re going to do. You’ve been warned,” Daniels concluded.

Sheriff Daniels speaks on who we are as a people

Sheriff Daniels speaks on who we are as a people. #CCSOFL #KeepingClaySafe

Posted by Clay County Sheriff's Office, Florida on Tuesday, June 30, 2020

Clay County is located in the northeast section of Florida — it includes Jacksonville and other metropolitan areas. The population of Clay County was 219,252 in 2019.