Lt. Governor Gavin Newsom found himself the target of criticism from civil rights groups after posting an anti-gun message on his Facebook in late May. On his Facebook page, Newsom specifically called out a message from the Coalition for Civil Liberties, which featured a transgender woman opposing Newsom’s recently proposed gun control measure.
“If Gavin Newsom gets this passed, how will transgender women like me be able to protect ourselves?” Nicki Stallard, a member of the LGBT gun rights group Pink Pistols, was quoted on the message.
Instead of responding to criticism of his proposal, Newsom instead attacked the National Rifle Association (NRA) for the message.
“The NRA group in California is using the Trans community to fight our commonsense gun safety initiative,” Newsom wrote on Facebook. “Using the Trans community to fight their battle of lies is arguably one of the most disgusting things they’ve ever done.”
However, the Pink Pistols are not affiliated with, and does not receive funding from the NRA. According to the group, it maintains 45 chapters across the United States and has the mission of protecting not just the right of all Americans to own arms, but specifically empowering those in the LGBT community.
“We work to build bridges between the shooting community and other communities, such as those based on alternative sexualities. We advocate the use of lawfully-owned, lawfully-concealed firearms for the self-defense of the sexual minority community,” the group stated on its website.
The Pink Pistols occasionally work with other gun rights groups, such as the Coalition for Civil Liberties, to promote common causes. In this case, both organizations oppose Newsom’s gun-control measure, which requires retailers to run a background check before selling ammunition, among other things. You can read more about the proposal here.
“Gavin isn’t promoting commonsense gun safety. He is promoting victim disarmament, and his proposals will get innocent victims killed,” Stallard told The Sacramento Bee.
Stallard said that she volunteered to appear in the message and that she was no one’s “puppet.”
“Lieutenant Governor Gavin Newsom attacked a transgender woman in a shocking Facebook post. Newsom’s condescending tone to Nicki has rightfully angered many people. He also questioned her motives for wanting to defend herself,” said the Coalition for Civil Liberties in a statement. “The LGBT community needs representatives and policies that help them deal with the very real dangers they face every day. The last thing they need is to have politicians attacking their desire to protect themselves against the threats they face.”