Buncombe County, NC – Democratic candidate for sheriff in Buncombe County, North Carolina, R. Daryl Fisher, made a statement during a campaign event that has stirred outrage among gun owners, which he later claimed was a “joke.”
While speaking during at a campaign event, on March 7, Fisher told the crowd:
“You’ve heard people say: ‘You’ll have to pry my gun from my cold, dead hands.’ Okay!”
Fisher’s implication from his statement appeared to be that if necessary, it was “okay” to kill gun owners that refused to allow their weapons to be confiscated. While it is unclear what specific group Fisher was speaking to, the audience appeared to be proponents of gun control, as his commentary was met with applause and laughter.
During his address, Fisher noted that he was a proponent of stricter gun regulations, and explained that “common sense” regulations include raising the age to purchase a firearm to 21, banning “high capacity” magazines on both rifles and pistols, outlawing weapons designed for military use, requiring firearm qualifications before people can carry guns, only allowing people to carry the weapon that they trained with, and banning anything that increases a firearm’s rate of fire.
While discussing a potential gun ban, Fisher added a caveat, asking, “What if people already have them?”
He then explained that confiscating guns from people who purchased the guns before the ban would be unlawful. After receiving backlash from his “cold dead hands” commentary, Fisher released the following statement on Friday:
This post is for all of the people who have posted false information about my position on proposing sensible gun legislation as a candidate for Buncombe County Sheriff. As a citizen, human being, and Candidate for Sheriff, I would like to recommend the following legislation:
Ban the sale of high capacity magazines;
Ban the sale of any mechanism that will allow a weapon to fire in rapid succession;
Raise the age to purchase any weapon to age 21;
And ensure proper background checks are done for purchase permits.
These are sensible measures and are a big step at protecting our communities. Stop pointing fingers and bring solid and sensible solutions instead of spreading false information and propaganda.
While it is unclear what the “false information and propaganda” is that he refers to, his statement failed to address the “cold dead hands” comment at that time.
As the backlash over his comments grew, on Saturday Fisher released a second statement which said, in part:
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.
The video can be seen below. The alleged “joke” begins around the 3:00 mark: