In the wake of the tragic school shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Florida, gun legislation has become a popular topic on the campaign trail.
R. Daryl Fisher, who is a candidate for the sheriff’s office in Buncombe County, North Carolina, recently spoke to the anti-gun activist group Moms Demand Action about his position on the issue.
During a brief question-and-answer session, Fisher noted that he’d like to see the age for firearm purchase be raised to 21 across the board, and advocated banning high capacity magazines along with any mechanism (like a bumpstock) that would render a firearm capable of firing bullets in a more rapid succession.
But after running through a list of fairly typical suggestions, Fisher appeared to go off script:
Fisher cautioned attendees not to “buy into the scare tactics,” saying, “You’ve heard people say that ‘you’ll have to pry my guns from my cold, dead hands.'” Then he shrugged, and said simply, “OK.”
Fisher did go on to clarify that he meant the government would wait until the gun owner passed away to take possession of any legally purchased firearm. He explained that the law, as it is currently written, prevents the government from confiscating even banned firearms if they were purchased prior to being banned. But the damage had already been done, and the video went viral over the weekend, sparking immense outrage against the senate candidate.
Fisher responded to the backlash with a lengthy Facebook post explaining the “joke” further:
After making it clear that as sheriff, his job would be to enforce the law and not to write it, he noted:
If you want to know what my statements were, listen to all of the videos in their entirety. There is one statement that many up to now have taken offense to. That statement starts out with language similar to, “Don’t believe the scare tactics,” and I say that some gun enthusiast might say, “You will have to pry my gun from my cold dead hands.” This is also a movie quote. The crowd laughed and I made a joke. I admit the joke was a mistake and I should not have joked. But I go on to relay that the government cannot take away any guns or any items that were legally sold before any new laws take effect. To do this would be unconstitutional because that would constitute what is called an ex post facto law. Responsible gun owners have nothing to worry about. We have to do something different because what has been done is not working.