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Sheriff Candidate Christopher Sawyer Receives FOAC Endorsement

I am very pleased this morning to announce that Firearms Owners Against Crime, one of the several pro-Second Amendment organizations in Pennsylvania has recommended me as a candidate for Sheriff of Philadelphia County.

I am a unique choice in many ways. The first one that boggles the mind is that I am one of the few gun-rights supporters who have participated with CeaseFirePA, specifically their CourtWatch program. While I do not agree with the rhetoric that comes from anti-gun groups, the CFPA CourtWatch gathered people who live close to places where violence has occurred and puts those people directly in the courtroom during a perp's sentencing for repeatedly violating the Uniform Firearms Act; a violation also known as a "VUFA" in law-enforcement lingo. When a repeat-VUFA offender is being sentenced, the public sitting in the gallery gets an opportunity to deliver impact statements to the judge before the sentencing is issued. I witnessed with my own eyes how some judges, like Common Pleas Judge Rayford Means routinely issues inexplicably light sentences to violent offenders who have repeatedly been charged with violating the Uniform Firearms Act. This judge is literally killing people with his actions.

One area where antis and 2A supporters agree is that existing firearms law violations are not being sentenced in a manner that sends a consistent message; that violating our existing firearms law is not taken seriously. I live in a region where urban violent crime had traditionally occurred at a higher rate than elsewhere in Pennsylvania and I have witnessed how district attorneys and the Court of Common Pleas in the First Judicial District handle VUFA charges.

Where the groups differ is that gun-control advocates believe a tsunami of more gun control laws is the answer to reducing gun violence with no evidence to back it up, then they direct vitriol against legal firearms owners with both sides talking past one another. Legal gun owners such as myself would prefer to see reforms in the criminal justice system to directly address sentencing of repeat firearms violators and measure the effectiveness of sentencing reform before any discussion of burdening legal firearms owners should be proffered.

I have also worked to dispel misinformation about self-defense options that emanates from Philadelphia politicians, anti-gun supporters and even the Philadelphia Police Department. I have tried to be a voice of reason in such a long-contested and heated issue.

Philadelphia is unique in that the carry permit system is unusually obtuse in this county and denials of LTCF applications are heard by the city's Department of Licenses and Inspections, which has had a scandalous reputation as building inspection and permit issuing agency, plus its staff who sit on the gun permit board are not qualified to hear justice appeals nor does it publish meaningful statistics about its denial and reversal rate. All permit applicants in Philadelphia who are initially denied have no choice but to spend money hiring an attorney as an open court hearing is the only way to put the process back into a forum which has a little more objectivity. As Sheriff, I would advocate to Harrisburg legislators to once-again pass legislation that will remove the geographic restrictions placed on Pennsylvanians on where they can apply for an LTCF permit [which is a Commonwealth permit, not a local permit], either to coadjacent counties or to all county Sheriffs offices in the land.

As a firearms owner for 20 years and with 30 years of firearms experience, I know the pros and cons of firearms ownership. It is a useful tool for defense of one's person and one's home. No other tool can rapidly reverse a dangerous situation into a survivable outcome like a firearm can. I have responsibly encouraged and trained others in the use of firearms and have brought new people into the gun-owning community. I will continue to advocate positive messages about legal firearms ownership as Sheriff and I will serve as a counter-voice to those with an agenda determined to broadbrush all legal firearms owners as maniacal lunatics who deserve to have their rights embodied in the Constitution taken away from them.

For LGBT people such as me, firearms and defensive sprays are about the only tools available to protect ourselves from violent attacks. Even in Philadelphia, even in the most richest areas of Pennsylvania, gay and lesbians are still targeted with violence. Escape is not always an option that is available. Law enforcement takes time to get to you. A violent encounter can start and be over with in minutes. A week ago we just had a transwoman killed in our city. She might have stood a chance had she been armed with a defensive spray or with a firearm and knew how to use them. All the lawmaking in the world will not bring her back. Hate crime legislation will not make her un-dead. She had no chance to defend herself from multiple men, one who has been caught has a rap sheet that will empty the toner in your laser printer.

Three weeks ago my campaign treasurer heard gunfire outside his home, only to rush outside and discover his neighbor, a longtime friend and who had bought a run down house to renovate it, someone who had boosted his local neighborhood and was a very charitable man had been robbed and then shot. Adam held his neighbor while EMT arrived, dying in his arms.

Gun violence is very real and it is horrific. But common sense tells me that antagonizing legal firearms owners while willfully ignoring those who repeatedly violate existing firearms laws is tragic and it results in more deaths. I have seen those deaths up close, far beyond what most of you are comfortable with.

We need less violence and to have less of it we need smarter ways of approaching this problem than blasé attitudes, politically-charged talking points filled with malapropisms. The criminal justice system in Pennsylvania is in desperate need of change and it is a place that his highly resistant to change and this is the place where we can do the most about violent gun crime.

I am honored that FOAC has considered me as their recommended candidate for the Philadelphia Sheriff. I would be humbled if you could support me as Sheriff so I can use my position to advocate where the public should focus its attention.

You can visit my website at or contact my campaign directly at

I am also on Facebook.

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Excellent news!

RocketFoot's Minion since 09-07-2012
Good for you.

Although, I would like to know, who is still calling the shots over at FOAC?
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Mr_Gixxer;169635 Wrote:Good for you.

Although, I would like to know, who is still calling the shots over at FOAC?

Sorry, let me clarify. More specifically the central chapter. Xring?
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Congratulations. Good luck!
das, proud to be a member of since Sep 2012.
Thanks everyone!

If you have friends/relatives in Philadelphia County, please take some time to contact them in your e-mail, Facebook, in-person and let them know about me.
Don't really have any friends or family in the area any more, but good luck to ya.
RL Suehr, proud to be a member of since Aug 2013.
Congratulations. I'm honestly a little surprised they'd give you an endorsement, given the bigoted and homophobic leanings of many of its members and leadership. Good luck with the election, dude.
Unbanned since September 2012.
jahwarrior72;169661 Wrote:Congratulations. I'm honestly a little surprised they'd give you an endorsement, given the bigoted and homophobic leanings of many of its members and leadership. Good luck with the election, dude.

Add to that their love of Bernie Sanders.
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jahwarrior72;169661 Wrote:Congratulations. I'm honestly a little surprised they'd give you an endorsement, given the bigoted and homophobic leanings of many of its members and leadership. Good luck with the election, dude.

I think they overlook that because a few of them know my politics and think I'm sound. IIRC one of the folks in Northeast Philly that I've helped with going after slumlords is connected to FOAC.

Plus there's a culture component in the firearms community that shifts towards rural. In upstate PA to be gay and accepted... people will only accept you if you have a Type-A personality. It's kind of difficult to explain.

I confuse gay people more often than I do straight people... just being a firearms enthusiast alone sets me further apart from most gay people than it does straight people in PA. If this were Georgia or Texas, it wouldn't be unusual.

I love playing mindfuck with people. The few times I go to the gay bars in Philly especially around this time I'll wear my NRA hoodie. If I go to Wicen's I'll wear my Gay Games tee-shirt. They're always great conversation starters. When I wear my NRA hoodie in Philly I get stopped frequently and congratulated on it "I love that where'd you get it!"... you can get them at the NRAstore. When you had all those politicians marching in hoodies in solidarity with Treyvon the NRAstore finally added clothing that wasn't meant for Fudds and put up some concealed-carry hoodies and logo stuff. Until then the only way to get that stuff was to go to Cabelas where they keep the Realtree shirts.

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