Florida Sheriff floats deputizing all gun owners in county to battle protests

Daniels BLM
The three minute video is full of the bluster that traditionally plays well in Clay.

A Northeast Florida Sheriff facing a competitive primary used department resources to make a self-promotional video this week under the guise of combatting civil unrest.

The message to would-be protesters: “You’ve been warned.”

(The message to political opponents, meanwhile, is one of the power and prerogatives of incumbency, especially in a crowded field of candidates.)

Clay County Sheriff Darryl Daniels released Tuesday a red meat video vowing to, if needed, deputize gun owners in the event  Black Lives Matter protesters came into the county.

“Somebody has to step up in front of the camera and say ‘enough is enough,'” said Daniels, vowing that “if we can’t handle you …. I’ll make special deputies of every lawful gun owner in this county.”

The warning (not a “threat,” Daniels says repeatedly), is especially interesting, given that Camp Blanding, from which the National Guard could deploy as it did during riots in actual cities, is in the county.

The three-minute video is full of the kind of bluster that traditionally plays well in Clay.

“If you threaten to come to Clay County and think for one second we’ll bend our backs for you, you’re sadly mistaken,” Daniels said.

“You can threaten all you want, you can say ‘let’s go to Clay County’,” but “you’ll have something waiting for you you don’t want,” he added.

“The second you step out from under the protection of the Constitution, we’ll be waiting for you, and you’ll have everything you want. All the publicity, all the pain, all the glamour and glory, for all that five minutes will give you,” Daniels promised, in a video that plays up contrasts between Clay County and urban areas, with a little flash for Fox News should they pick it up.

“God is absent from the media’s message or Black Lives Matter or any other group out there that’s making themselves a spectacle,” Daniels theorized.

Wherever God is or isn’t, Daniels himself picked up earned media at the right time, running fourth in the money race for the August primary.

Daniels, who has $38,514 on hand, trails opponents Ben CarrollMichelle Cook, and Mike Taylor.

Cook said Daniels was acting like a “reality show sheriff” and called the video a “political scam.”

However, in a seven-way race, the ability to leverage the public resources with the needs of a corporate media starved for any content that affirms the social order has a value that won’t show up in campaign finance, but could show up in October.

Despite an FDLE investigation dating to last summer, polling this spring showed Daniels well positioned in August, with strong approval numbers.

This video probably won’t hurt those numbers.

A.G. Gancarski

A.G. Gancarski has been the Northeast Florida correspondent for Florida Politics since 2014. He writes for the New York Post and National Review also, with previous work in the American Conservative and Washington Times and a 15+ year run as a columnist in Folio Weekly. He can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter: @AGGancarski


  • S.B. Anthony

    July 1, 2020 at 9:12 am

    What could possibly go wrong?

    • Tjb

      July 1, 2020 at 10:16 am

      So help me God, the sheriff’s speech is a threat. Deputizing every lawful gun owner is not good law enforcement… too many folks with guns are looking to hurt the protesters. Their excuse for shooting at protesters will be stand your ground (when a protester spray paints confederate monument)

      • Charlie B

        July 1, 2020 at 11:56 am

        legitimate protestors do not spray paint or destroy property. rioters and looters do those things. legitimate peaceful protestors have nothing to worry about. rioters and looters have been warned. good for the sheriff. we need more like him in this country!

      • fran

        July 1, 2020 at 2:02 pm

        If they come to my home, my kids, my families and want to do harm.. no that is NOT OKAY.. What have they done for their country except to destroy innocent peoples livelihood. Come my way, go out my way

      • Jules

        July 1, 2020 at 8:03 pm

        IF those of US with guns were looking to hurt PROTESTORS, they would all be hurt by now. It’s NOT us you need to fear. The sheriff is speaking about the LOOTERS breaking into homes and businesses. Pull your head out of your ass.

      • Evelyn Safe

        July 1, 2020 at 8:11 pm

        Don’t break the law and you have nothing to worry about.

      • Tick Licker

        July 2, 2020 at 12:30 pm

        All citizens have the right to defense of person and property..rioting law breakers surrender their rights..much like a liquor store bandits…those rights end immediately…

  • Sonja Fitch

    July 1, 2020 at 9:56 am

    Distraction that the sheriff screws around on his wife. He ain’t no roughy. Him is a married man fornicating with other women! Clay County defund this sheriff ! His pc is bs!

  • Frankie M.

    July 1, 2020 at 11:21 am

    What no free gas cards? Play to your base. Watchout for all those protestors coming to Middleburg! Who wants to protest in the middle of nowhere?? How much time & money was spent on this propaganda? Darryl should be fired for fraud,waste, & abuse. If we had a real guv he would’ve been gone a long time ago.

  • Sue

    July 1, 2020 at 11:48 am

    When does someone “step out from under the protection of the Constitution”? NEVER. Moronic, ignorant thug. Even if and when you break the law you are STILL under the protection of the Constitution, you idiot.

    • Norma Edwards

      July 1, 2020 at 8:48 pm

      My comment, exactly! The Constitution covers the whole United States, even Clay County, FL.

      • Julian

        July 3, 2020 at 12:12 am

        huh? he said he is protecting the constitution not stepping out from it. sheesh you people already twisting words

  • Rhonda

    July 1, 2020 at 12:02 pm

    This man is an utter disgrace. Of course, the fact that he feels comfortable indulging in such barbaric campaign speech is itself a reflection of the mindset of the plurality of voters he’s pandering to.

    Has he forgotten about his adulterous comings and goings with a former JSO corrections officer that he seemingly had arrested under false pretenses to cover up his dirty tracks? Some voters surely haven’t forgotten.

    A pitiful joke, he is. Its time for Clay to elect a new sheriff.

    • Charlie B

      July 1, 2020 at 12:15 pm

      the mindset of the plurality of voters he’s pandering to.” Oh, those of us who wish to protect our families and property from LAWLESS rioters and looters? THAT “plurality of voters”? If so you can kiss my you know what! Who the H3LL are YOU to tell me that I can not protect myself, my family, my property, and the public property that my tax dollars help maintain! YOU madam can take a long walk off a short pier!

  • Carlotta Rosado

    July 1, 2020 at 12:12 pm

    I loved the video! He is stating what is needed in this country! Tearing up businesses, destroying historical monuments, attacking police and civilians is a felony and should be treated as such! I would proudly stand with our sheriffs and police as a lawful gun owner! I would gladly serve and protect our America. You sir, are on the wrong side! Your journalism is part of the problem! You should be fired.

    • Charlie B

      July 1, 2020 at 12:21 pm

      EXACTLY! These liberals are so dense they have blurred the lines between legitimate peaceful protestors and rioters and looters! To think that rioters and looters have the same Constitutional right to destroy property and harm citizens is INSANE! No one, NO ONE is going to stop ME from protecting myself, my family, my property, and the public property that my tax dollars support! NO ONE!

    • Joe

      July 2, 2020 at 9:27 pm


  • Important news

    July 1, 2020 at 12:32 pm

    Bunch of cry babies in these comments. Stay out, stay away or else. Play stupid games win stupid prizes. Fair warning. Enough is enough. Don’t like it, tough.

    • Charlie B

      July 1, 2020 at 12:41 pm

      “cry babies ” – Feel good, indoctrinated Liberals. The Communists used to ( probably still do) call them USEFUL IDIOTS.

  • R A Phillips

    July 1, 2020 at 1:44 pm

    Well the first paragraph of this article certainly makes it clear which side the author is on. I am so sick and tired of the gd media and their support of the lawless and violent rioters, looters, and vandals that are desecrating monuments, destroying businesses and private property in our cities. I say hooray for this sheriff and if I was in Clay I would gladly volunteer to become a deputy in his service. As is it I am ready and waiting for these maggots to come to my neck of the woods. Got my Mossberg 12 gauge pump and 100 rounds of ammo ready and waiting. Bring it scumbags!

  • Hester

    July 1, 2020 at 1:47 pm

    Good for the residents of Clay county.

  • chris christie

    July 1, 2020 at 1:50 pm

    boy bye…

  • Ma rie

    July 1, 2020 at 3:00 pm

    What and idiot! Deputies any and everybody with a gun. That makes perfect sense. We see what happens when trained people are given a weapon a and badge. What could possible go wrong with a bunch of hyped up hot heads walking around with guns ready to shoot.

    • Tommie

      July 1, 2020 at 3:27 pm

      Would you rather the sheriff sit back and let the rioters and looters come in and burn down businesses and let them beat and kill the people that lives there?or shoot the police officers that are trying to protect us? I guess I’m one of them hyped up hotheads cause I will shoot anyone that tries to harm my family or property! What would you do if they came after you and your family??

    • R A Phillips

      July 1, 2020 at 4:03 pm

      What “AND” idiot? You must be talking to yourself.
      Deputize <— not Deputies
      Also if you paid any attention to the video, he said he would deputize every "LAWFUL GUN OWNER" in the county.
      One other thing, please take note, this is a duly elected BLACK man speaking out against the terrorist organization BLM. More power to him.

  • A.R.

    July 1, 2020 at 3:57 pm

    That’s how things get back in order. Way to go Sheriff.

  • martin

    July 1, 2020 at 4:22 pm

    About time a politician took steps to protect the voting public, as opposed to pandering to looters and rioters. He stated that he might deputize “lawful gun owning citizens”. I would guess he is referencing gun owning concealed carry permit holders. Those same honest citizens whose finger prints, photo and background checks have been performed.

    Of course the ultra liberal snowflakes oppose this. That is until they are threatened…

  • Karen

    July 1, 2020 at 4:44 pm

    Not from Clay county, but definitely armed and will defend our property. Good for this sheriff – we have enough thugs and punks without opening the door to rioters, looters and Soros hired disrupters. People need to wake up.

    • Mary Smith

      July 1, 2020 at 9:13 pm

      Amen! I want to move to Clay County. I admire the sheriff’s thinking. Enough lawlessness!

  • Never trust a leftist...

    July 1, 2020 at 6:32 pm

    Wow…I see a few leftists have found their way here. I guess it can’t be helped as the writer of this article is one of them. These “Urnalists” have enabled outright terrorism in our communities when they conflate peaceful protesters with rioters. His goal is to indoctrinate and activate the leftists. They need economic upheaval in order to beat Trump…and that’s when the fun really begins. The true goal is to eliminate the Electoral College so States like New York and California dictate who runs the country. The key players never get caught as there are useful idiots that will do their job for them. Have you ever noticed Antifa leading a pack of rioters only for them to disappear when the police show up?

    That of course brings us to the crux of the problem here…Protecting your homes, family, and neighbors are simply unacceptable to them. These are the same people not 6 months ago were screaming for you to disarm. First it was we just want the AR-15’s…then they wanted all “assault rifles,” and finally they claimed everyone’s semiautomatic weapons was their true target. Any real gun owner will tell you that 95% of all firearms in the US are semiautomatic.

    Then the so called “peaceful protests” broke out. Seattle was having their very own Woodstock love in. Accept that’s not exactly how it went down is it leftists? You had the warlord of Chaz (never call it Chop) handing out AR-15’s to drug addicts, felons, and 14 year old children (it’s been recorded). Where oh where were the anti-gun nuts when all of this was happening? That’s right, they were fueling the defund the police movement.

    You leftists have crossed a line you will never return from. We know what you’re trying to do and we see everyone of your cities collapse before our very eyes. We know that you’re nothing more than social vampires bleeding this nation of its resources. Too those in Clay County….do you honestly think they won’t come for you? At current the leftists are attempting to push into every conservative run city, county, and municipality. It’s only a matter of time before they make a stop in your town.

    Addendum- “Assult rifle” is a made up buzzword from the Clinton era. The “protesters” are anything but peaceful. Too those that watch the mass media today…they’re all lying to you. If you want the real truth seek independent media. Tim Pool on YouTube is a great place to start. Watch his coverage and you will see the truth.

  • BlueHeron

    July 1, 2020 at 8:07 pm


    • Charlie B

      July 1, 2020 at 11:38 pm

      “OY”.. Oh Yeah! You bet your sweet *** if LOOTERS and RIOTERS come on MY property they WILL be dealt with accordingly. … Now, PEACEFUL protestors, that’s a different story. I’ll be out there handing them juice boxes and giving them hugs.

  • Harry R

    July 2, 2020 at 7:41 am

    Didn’t realize the Sheriff could mobilize the National Guard! Whoops, I mistook this article for journalism.

  • G money

    July 2, 2020 at 12:40 pm

    “They are just freedom fighters it’s ok” just like Seattle you want a group to take over 6 city blocks and in those city blocks they’ve raped women killed kids beaten people up. Is that what you liberals want?
    Come to Florida the gunshine state and try that shit here… you’ve been warned

  • G money

    July 2, 2020 at 1:03 pm

    Wow you really took down my post? This web page must be run by liberals. Unbelievable. There goes freedom of speech. It’s ok to bash the sheriff call him a cheater, an idiot claim he’s a fraud but if some one calls out the so called freedom fighters of Seattle the comment gets deleted. Come down to FLAWDA and get ya some!

  • Helen Bedd

    July 3, 2020 at 12:07 am

    So more untrained cops on the streets. sounds legit. “I see dead people”

    • G money

      July 3, 2020 at 1:45 pm

      I see a liberal scared

Comments are closed.


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