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Riding Shotgun With Charlie

Aug 30, 2022

Riding Shotgun With Charlie
Michael Schwartz
San Diego County Gun Owners
Gun Owners Radio


This past June I finally got to California to film some shows. One of the folks I absolutely had to have was Michael Schwartz. He’s the founder of San Diego County Gun Owners (SDCGO) and co-host of Gun Owners Radio (GOR).  I booked a trip with John Petrolino (RSWC #093) and we headed to SDCGO’s GunProm 2022. It was not just an amazing event, but John was awarded the Media Figure of the Year.  The day after the event, Michael and I had a chance to get him on the show. After all, I have been on GOR a time or two.  And the night we filmed this show, John and I were able to be in-studio for the show.  You can get the link here.


While Michael did own some BB guns when he was young, he didn’t get into firearms until he was older. He thought a GLCOK 19 would fill the void.  It didn’t. Then maybe a Mossberg 500 would and it didn’t either. Being a big fan of Red Dawn, he went to purchase an AK-47. The store was out and the salesman encouraged him to buy an AR-15 as they were going to be banned soon. Talking to some colleagues about going shooting and having to answer questions about why he wanted to go shooting combined with the gun salesman's ban-talk, he decided it was time to fight for his civil rights to own a firearm. 


Michael spent years working in the banking industry. He watched many groups and observed what they were doing, the good and the bad things. Then he decided that he wanted to start a group that supported pro-gun political candidates in the San Diego County area. It was more work than he realized, with thousands of decisions to be made. But they modeled other PACs that were doing the right things and they applied those strategies to SDCGO. 


As a matter of fact, it's been working so well that some of the surrounding counties wanted to start their own :”County Gun Owners” groups. They’re following the same process, fundraising,and charter of SDCGO. Their biggest fundraiser, GunProm, started off as a Second Amendment Celebration dinner. But when everyone got dressed up, they didn’t recognize each other. The following year in the spring, they decided to dress up and call it GunProm. In 2021, due to ‘virus restrictions’, they could hold the event with less than 1,000 and not need testing.  So they sold 999 tickets!  This year 750 members, spouses, and friends showed up. Michael calls it a ‘fundraiser and a friendrasier’. 


Michael and SDCGO think outside the box. And it’s wonderful!  At a gun show, SDCGO hosted a $10,000 gun show challenge. If someone was able to purchase a firearm or machine gun at the gun show, they were going to give you $10,000.  Of course, they kept their money as gun shows don’t have ‘loopholes’. But when the traditional press was running stories and doing interviews, they were talking with SDCGO and not the anti-gun crowd. That’s such an awesome idea!


After we filmed this show, John Petrolino and I were guests on Gun Owners Radio with Michael, Joe Drammissi (RSWC #150), and Dave Stahl.Of course Action Jackson and Chase the Service Dog were in the studio as well. What’s really cool is 3 weeks later, I ran into Chase, Jackson, & Jackson’s parents at the SIG Academy in New Hampshire. 

I’d love to see Michael and SDCGO take these groups and expand them around the country!

Favorite quotes:  

“We’re a community; we’re the Second Amendment community in San Diego.”

“I got bummed out and I thought ‘something has to change’.”

“Being harassed like that, kinda being singled out for exercising a Right, that had an affect.”

“I believe that our organization, our model, is the ounce of prevention.”

“My Second Amendment isn’t the problem.” 


San Diego County Gun Owners

San Diego County Gun Owners Facebook

Gun Owners Radio

Gun Owners Radio Facebook

Gun Owners Radio YouTube


Second Amendment Foundation

Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms


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Dennis McCurdy
Author, Speaker, Firewalker

Self Defense Radio Network