GREEN COVE SPRINGS, Fla. — A Florida sheriff says he will deputize every gun owner in his county to put down any violent protests his deputies can’t handle alone.

Clay County Sheriff Darryl Daniels gave no indication in a three-minute video released Wednesday that any demonstrations are planned in his suburban Jacksonville county. Daniels also said he would protect any peaceful protests, but added that if anyone starts “tearing up Clay County, that is not going to be acceptable.”

“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 the county and I’ll deputize them to this one purpose: to stand in the gap between lawlessness and civility,” said Daniels, sporting a white cowboy hat as he stood in front of 18 deputies.

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