Jim Penman, the city attorney of San Bernardino, California, is catching heat for telling residents to “lock their doors and load their guns” during a recent city council meeting attended by 150 residents, reports CBS Los Angeles (video below).
Penman said that because San Bernardino is bankrupt, it had to cut its police force by about 80 officers, so people will need to start protecting themselves.
Penman told CBS Los Angeles: “Well, if I remember right, I told them to ‘lock their doors and load their guns.' Let’s be honest, we don’t have enough police officers. We have too many criminals living in this city. We have had 45 murders this year…that’s far too high for a city of this size.”
“I’m not advocating that people go out, who don’t have any training, and buy firearms. I certainly strongly caution anyone who has children at home not to have a loaded gun in the house.”
City Councilwoman Wendy McCommack added: “You could tell the swell of frustration was coming over a lot of folks. They did not feel like they could get an officer out as quickly to some of the quality-of-life issues that they were dealing with as they would have preferred. We need to take our streets back, we need to take our neighborhoods back and we need to protect our homes, and that’s what I think Jim was trying to say.”
San Bernardino has seen a 50 percent increase in murders this year compared to 2011.