The Second Amendment Foundation (SAF) today condemned a suggestion by San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom that firemen be posted on street corners in violent neighborhoods, at the same time five city supervisors are pushing an initiative to disarm the city’s law abiding citizens.

“Firemen are supposed to fight fires, not crime,” said SAF Founder Alan M. Gottlieb. “Yet here’s Mayor Newsom, quoted in the San Francisco Chronicle, suggesting that fire trucks and their crews could be detailed to high crime areas as some sort of deterrent. The initiative to ban handguns in San Francisco is stupid, but this idea is just plain crazy.”

San Franciscans are being asked to approve a measure this fall that would ban possession of handguns in the city. If approved, handgun owners would be required to turn their firearms in to police. Lining up against the initiative are gun rights organizations, including the Pink Pistols, a group of gay firearms owners. SAF sued to overturn an earlier San Francisco gun ban in 1982, and has hinted it will go back to court if this ban passes.

“Mayor Newsom’s concerns about violent crime are not misplaced, but his solution completely misses the target,” Gottlieb observed. “If he is concerned about citizens having to live in dangerous neighborhoods, he should immediately, and publicly, renounce this gun-grabbing initiative. You do not protect citizens from crime by disarming them and placing unarmed firemen in harm’s way. You fight crime by allowing people the means to protect themselves.

“San Francisco firefighters are courageous public servants,” Gottlieb noted. “The city asks a great deal of these dedicated men and women. They routinely risk their lives in dangerous situations. But their specialty is putting out fires, not controlling the city’s free fire zones.

“Disarming law-abiding citizens will not make those neighborhoods safer,” Gottlieb concluded. “It will only make those neighborhoods, and every other part of the city, a risk-free working environment for the violent thugs who seem to have the run of the place, while honest citizens are being asked to give up their means of self-defense and live in fear.”

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