San Diego County Gun Owners PAC Criticizes Lincoln Club for Sheriff Endorsement

San Diego County Gun Owners San Diego County Gun Owners 13 Comments


Statement from San Diego County Gun Owners (SDCGO)

Last Friday, the San Diego Lincoln Club held an early round of endorsement interviews for their PAC and their members recommended to endorse controversial San Diego Sheriff Bill Gore, who is running for reelection.

This endorsement shows a lack of respect for voters and is adversarial to public safety. Sheriff Gore continues to mislead the public by saying state law prohibits him from issuing more concealed carry weapon (CCW) permits. However, it is state law that gives sheriffs the authority to set their own internal “good cause” requirements necessary to issue a permit. Gore also continues to tell people that he is waiting for the Court case against California to be finalized before he changes his policies. The court case is against Sheriff Gore and his CCW policies and no matter the outcome, will not prevent Gore from issuing more CCWs. Sheriff Gore’s virtual ban on CCWs prevents people from effective self-defense.

When asked about this important issue during the endorsement meeting, Sheriff Gore deliberately misled the members in the room who appeared to know little or nothing about the issue. If this issue is outside the scope of the Lincoln Club, why did it come up in an endorsement meeting and if it came up in an endorsement meeting, why were the members so ill prepared and unable to point out Gore’s misinformation?

The Lincoln Club claims to be a “pro-business” organization but this endorsement does not represent that goal. Attendees agreed the members who voted to endorse Gore had little knowledge of his policies or track record and had not at all heard from his opponent. Gore’s opponent, Dave Myers, rose to the rank of Commander in the San Diego Sheriff’s Department during his 32 years in law enforcement and is endorsed by the Democratic party of San Diego County. He is a viable, qualified candidate and deserved to be heard at the meeting.

Sheriff Gore’s CCW policies amount to a ban on the issuance of CCWs and a ban is never considered “pro-business.” The gun shops who sells firearms, the gun ranges where people train, the ammunition and accessories manufacturers, and the instructors who train gun owners are businesses hurt by Gore’s CCW ban. How is endorsing to continue to cut into the bottom line of business owners considered pro-business?

It is important to highlight that Sheriff Gore’s CCW ban differs from the majority of California sheriffs. The vast majority of the 58 county sheriffs issue CCWs for the purpose of self-defense to people who have passed a background check and have completed a class. Gore’s claim that his hands are tied by state law is an outrageous accusation that dozens of elected sheriffs in California are breaking the law. A claim of this magnitude by a sheriff of a county the size of San Diego would be newsworthy if it had any credence. The reality is The dozens of other sheriffs in California are not breaking the law, there have been no consequences for issuing CCWs, and Gore still refuses to change his policies.

Endorsements are important and should be taken seriously. When Lincoln Club members vote for someone they hardly know over someone from whom they have never heard, the resulting endorsement cannot be considered valid. Unfortunately, the campaign for San Diego County Sheriff is a major race and the Lincoln Club will likely put large amounts of money behind this craven, lazy endorsement. The lack of preparation by the voting members will likely result in a “pro-business” organization endorsing a divisive sheriff whose business-killing CCW ban is being considered by the US Supreme Court.

While in office, this “pro-business” sheriff’s budget has grown almost $189 million (Operational Plan and Budget Information from the County’s website) including obscene amounts of overtime pay that Gore was heavily criticized for during his term.

In contrast to the Lincoln Club, San Diego County Gun Owners PAC (SDCGO) meets with and thoroughly vets candidates regardless of their political affiliation. SDCGO researches and evaluates each candidate’s votes, public statements, campaign plans (including finances), and policy proposals. We judge by actions over words, by their Second Amendment stance, their viability as a candidate, and their character. Unprepared donors asking a few questions over lunch and voting for someone they just met with is irresponsible politics.

For years, SDCGO members have watched candidates and donors roll their eyes at the Lincoln Club. SDCGO stands for a cause. Other San Diego organizations have benefited from the lack of a principled organization that represents your rights. Stop holding your nose while paying dues to support candidates who disregard your rights and safety and join us. Yes, we are a single-issue organization. But isn’t that better than being an organization beholden to no issue at all?

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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.


Comments 13

  1. The Lincoln club should be ashamed. You have lost your way and Lets hope your members will leave and tell you how stupid you look when you do stupid things like this.

  2. A reminder that we don’t allow name-calling on Rostra, even if you think you have legitimate reasons. We will continue to edit comments if need be.

  3. Why would a business oriented PAC make a sheriff endorsement anyway, especially one who won’t allow me to defend my loved ones outside my home; at the same time CA prisons are letting people out due to overcrowding

  4. This is why people like Michael A. Schwartz are their own worst enemy. They hurt their own cause. Instead of criticizing Sheriff Gore and the Lincoln Club they should be working with them. Before the hyperbole negative blast, did Schwartz call any of the Board of Directors of the Lincoln Club? I honestly believe I am a bigger supporter of the 2nd amendment than Schwartz since I’ve been involved since 1974 but I am tired of these folks using an important issue for their own ego. Shame on you.

  5. Right now the Lincoln Club has far more money for voter outreach, staff, etc. But that’s right now.

    I am glad Lincoln Club staff made clear public comments about not caring about the Second Amendment. There are a lot of confused members who believe the Lincoln Club does care.

    If that continues, a worst case scenario is they start losing races. A best case scenario is they have to spend much more money and work much harder to beat candidates who do care about the Second Amendment. Which is a shame when their group should be such natural allies.

  6. Seems to be some precedent of late for not being on the conservative side of principle.

    In the November Santee Mayoral race Council Member “A” challenged Council Member “B” and the fire department on their calculation of work hours when not at work. An issue that would have meant a $350,000 savings to Santee taxpayers.

    When the Neighborhood Market Association lobbied the Santee City Council to not allow another liquor store in the community Council Member “A” stood alone on limited government and free markets and letting the marketplace make the decision.

    When the Santee City Council and Council Member “B” wanted to endorse the SANDAG Tax proposal Council Member “A” stood alone in attempting to get the council to go on record and challenge SANDAG.

    Now which Council Member got the Lincoln Club endorsement?

  7. I own a gun shop in San Diego and I will tell you first hand that Sheriff Gore’s denial of our basic constitutional rights has a direct negative effect on my business and many others. I’m convinced that members of the Lincoln Club of San Diego use their membership as a status symbol rather than actually caring about anything in the club’s platform (or even knowing what is in that platform). I have spoken with some members of the Lincoln Club and the vast majority of them don’t have a clue what CCW is. They are issue-ignorant and are totally out of touch with the values they claim to represent. They go to their high-priced lunches and slap each other on the back and congratulate themselves on how “politically active” they are when, in fact, they don’t have a clue what is really happening in the trenches with the people who are making real sacrifices to wage the fight. Worse, they actually work directly against the interests of those same people with endorsements such as this. The Lincoln Club’s willful ignorance of Sheriff Gore’s business-killing and freedom-denying policies is shameful.

  8. SDCGOA is an organization dedicated to focusing on second amendment issues. They are attacking the Lincoln Club, an organization dedicated to focusing on business issues…

    Does Schwartz not understand that there may be some disagreement between two different organizations with totally different purposes??

  9. From personal experience, I can attest that the Lincoln Club has lost its way. It supports candidates it knows, or should know, are at best RINOs and at worst, clearly liberal. It has become more of a “good ole boys” club endorsing people because a friend/associate told them to than by actually looking at the person to see if he/she adheres to the principals of the Lincoln Club/conservatism. When Gore, and others, get their endorsement (while they are clearly NOT espousing the platform of the Club) then the Club has lost its reason for being…and is on its way to extinction. The Lincoln Club is in need of leadership to help it “right the ship” or it will go the way of other political organizations, and become nothing more than money looking for a cause. When that happens liberals will rise to rule, an unacceptable situation, in my opinion.

  10. I don’t know the details of it, but would a business owner who deposits a lot of cash need a CW permit? Do owners of retail/restaurants need a CW permit for their businesses? Instances like these could be where the interest of gun owners and business overlap.

  11. The Lincoln Club is a Pro-Business PAC, period. They do not claim to be anything else. As has been pointed out many times on this site pro-business is very different than conservative.

  12. TheMarshallPlan, excellent point and one that needs to be made over and over.

    I recently wrote to Sheriff Gore about a business owner who was denied a permit and was told he did not “meet the threshold of good cause”. This business owner carries large amounts of cash, works off hours because he upgrades networks, carries expensive computer equipment, and can prove all of the above. The Sheriff denied him and cannot give specifics to the applicant as to what the threshold is or how he did not meet it.

    There was no background check issue. The business owner has government clients and has to have a current secret clearance .

    Imagine going to get a passport or a building permit and just being told “no”. What kind of government is that? How is that “pro business”?

    And again, in the above statement, it clearly shows that a ban on CCWs is not pro business. There are a ton of small businesses around San Diego that would benefit if Sheriff Gore changed his vague, inconsistent policies and started to issue.
    Ryan Peterson made a great comment about that.

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