HomeEntertainment‘The Andy Griffith Show’: Andy Taylor Never Carried a Gun for One Reason, Griffith Explained

‘The Andy Griffith Show’: Andy Taylor Never Carried a Gun for One Reason, Griffith Explained

by Will Shepard
(Photo by Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images)

Andy Taylor is hailed as one of the best television dads of all time. He was the benchmark that every father in the 60s strove to reach. Fans of the show will know that Sheriff Taylor never had a gun on his waist while on The Andy Griffith Show.

He held down a very respectable job as Sheriff of Mayberry while balancing being a single father. People who watched the show devoutly will know the reason why he never carried a weapon. Andy Taylor and Andy Griffith had different personalities. On the show, Griffith always depicted the Sheriff as respectably as possible.

“When a man carries a gun all the time, the respect he thinks he’s getting might really be fear,” Griffith said during an episode of The Andy Griffith Show. “So I don’t carry a gun, because I don’t want the people of Mayberry to fear a gun. I’d rather they respect me.”

But, in reality, Andy Griffith didn’t wear a gun for a very different reason. In an interview on The Today Show on March 4, 1996, Matt Lauer asked him about the gun.

In response, Griffith said, “The real reason I didn’t wear one is that I didn’t want that weight on my hip.”

Andy Griffith Never Wore a Gun on “The Andy Griffith Show,” But Don Knotts Did

Don Knotts, who played Barney Fife on The Andy Griffith Show, was also part of the interview. Before he got Griffith to tell him about wearing a gun, Lauer had an excellent lead-in, asking about the crime rates in Mayberry.

Lauer asked, “You two were cops, obviously, but very few major crimes every really took place in Mayberry, did they?”

“No,” Andy Griffith responded. “You’d have some stills that had to be broken up, and you had some bank capers and [a] few things like that. But nobody got killed.”

“As a matter of fact, you didn’t even carry a gun, did you?”

Andy Griffith cracks a smile and shakes his head as he gave the real reason why he didn’t wear a gun. Even Don Knotts, sitting beside him, is shocked to hear that was the reason.

The two chuckle about it, knowing that Barney Fife certainly carried a gun. The Andy Griffith Show had a lot of fun with Barney’s gun. In fact, they had a running gag that there was only one bullet in his gun.