San Diego County Gun Owners (SDCGO), a Santee-based political action committee (PAC) promoting Second Amendment rights, has released a statement in response to the riots, looting and protests in San Diego County in the aftermath of the death of George Floyd, a black man while in the custody of Minneapolis police.
“We are not taking sides with the protests because there appears to be hundreds of sides to take,” said Michael Schwartz, executive director, SDCGO. “The only side we’re taking is support for our rights to keep and bear arms, our rights to free speech, assemble peacefully and peaceful protest, as protected by the Constitution.
“However, we condemn unnecessary violence from any side. We value and cherish respect and understanding. Our leadership and members are deeply saddened and horrified by the video we are all now familiar with that showed unnecessary actions by law enforcement resulting in the death of George Floyd.
“It is clear to all that changes must be made and we encourage those changes to be made within the framework of the government set up for us by the state and federal constitutions. We encourage action that is lead by civil discourse. This is how SDCGO has been successful and it is the American way.
“Recent mayhem in the streets, plus the impossibility of police protection being everywhere at once, is a frightening reminder confirming that our individual safety and our families’ safety are ultimately in our own hands. Every life is precious, which is the foundation for our advocacy of safety, security and the Second Amendment. It’s impossible to predict when you might need to defend the most important thing on this planet, our lives.
“So, this is why our political action committee promotes the effective use and training of firearms as a self-defense tool for law-abiding Americans. We make sure that people have access to professional trainers who can teach firearms safety and proficiency. We educate people on how to obtain a concealed weapon permit. And, we help to elect public officials who respect the rights to keep and bear arms and who still believe in civil liberties. We will not sit back and be silent in educating the public and advocating for adherence to the U.S. Constitution and Second Amendment. Together is how we can move forward to revive and ensure a safe and sound community.
“For societies to flourish, the rule of law must assert itself. In many ways, our elected leaders have failed to protect us. But, we’re hoping this breakdown will ultimately turn into a breakthrough.”
Schwartz also said he expects a surge in gun sales as the public comes to grips with the recent riots. “People watch the news,” he said. “There will be increased interest and demand for firearms as a result of what’s going on in the world right now.”
In May, there were more than 3 million checks run through the FBI’s national instant check system, which was roughly a 32 percent increase compared to May 2019.
Schwartz also noted that information on applying for a concealed weapon permit, often referred to a “concealed carry weapon” (CCW), is available at www.SDCGO.org/CCW. Also, information on firearms training is available at www.SDCGO.org/shopsranges.
While every U.S. state has a Second Amendment PAC, along with several nationwide gun rights PACs, SDCGO is believed to be America’s first strictly local, countywide Second Amendment advocacy organization. The local PAC features a diverse and inclusive membership with representatives from the LGBT, Latino, African American, Asian and Pacific Islander communities.
Founded in 2015, the San Diego County Gun Owners is a registered political action committee (FPPC ID #1379388) and advocacy organization focused on organizing the gun industry and community and protecting the U.S. Constitution’s Second Amendment right to bear arms. With a membership exceeding 1,800 individuals, the PAC provides news and information on new gun laws and Second Amendment advocacy. Its sponsored events include gun safety classes, small gun shows, sporting clay shoots, social gatherings and pistol, rifle and shotgun experiences taught by professional instructors. For more information, visit www.sandiegocountygunowners.com.