This is a Michael Jackson-grade moonwalk of backtracking:

Police Chief Cecil Smith said neighborhood watch volunteers won’t be banned from carrying firearms, even though the department recommends they don’t.

“We’re not asking anyone to take their second amendment, or their concealed weapons rights away from them,” Smith told NBC station WESH TV in Orlando.

Last week, Sanford’s police department spokeswoman confirmed to NBC that neighborhood watch volunteers would not be allowed to carry firearms.

WESH reported Tuesday that news of such restrictions brought complaints from gun rights groups.

But Smith blamed confusion about the restrictions on his own faulty language. He told the Orlando Sentinel newspaper that volunteers in another police-run program, Citizens on Patrol, would be banned from carrying handguns.

We told you last week that Smith simply doesn’t have the authority to disarm neighborhood watch patrols. Sanford’s street-fighting, gun-dealing, multiple-drug abusing thugs are going to simply have to take the risk of getting shot when they choose to ambush watch volunteers from behind.