San Francisco Democrat under fire for ‘ridiculous’ proposal to restrict gun use by security guards

One San Francisco Democrat garnered stark backlash after proposing a law that would ban security guards from drawing their weapons for property crimes at a time when retailers and residents alike are fleeing the city over public safety concerns. 

Former San Francisco police officer Joel Aylworth slammed San Francisco’s District 5 County Supervisor Dean Preston for the proposal during “Fox & Friends First,” calling the idea “ridiculous” as crime continues to run rampant. 

“They [criminals] don’t respect security guards at all,” Aylworth told co-host Ashley Strohmier Thursday. “SFPD, many times often gets hired to work overtime gigs at Target, Walgreens, Safeway, supermarkets. I’ve worked many of these overtime shifts over the years, and they will not listen to me. They will fight me… so what do you think they’re going to do with the security guard?” 


“If you tell security guards, ‘Hey, in only this situation, if he grabs you, you can only use a headlock, or you could only use this move,’ it’s the most ridiculous thing,” he continued. 

Preston announced the proposal on Twitter this week, noting the initiative came in response to a deadly shooting incident involving a security guard at a Walgreens downtown. 

“That’s why today at the Board of Supervisors, I will be calling for legislation to specifically prohibit security guards from drawing their weapons to protect property,” he said. “Human life is more important than property. We need to change our local law so that security guards cannot holster their weapons just to protect property.”

Michael-Earl Wayne Anthony, 33, a security guard at a downtown San Francisco Walgreens, reportedly shot and killed 24-year-old Banko Brown last month. He was questioned by police but was released and did not face murder charges. 


Protests have erupted in response to the fatal shooting, with some critics calling to eliminate security guards entirely at various retailers. 

Despite the push, Alyworth noted it is standard practice for law enforcement officials to resort to drawing their weapons if there are fears an altercation with a criminal will escalate. 

“SFPD and police nationwide, we point our firearms at people for property crimes – burglary, auto theft,” Alyworth said. “Those are property crimes, but it’s the propensity and the potential for danger that we know these types of criminals carry weapons on themselves, and so the law gives us the right to use that force, even though they haven’t actually assaulted us yet.”

“To create a blanket policy saying all property crimes you can’t point a weapon is ridiculous because this property crime started as a property crime escalated to a robbery, and now we’ve got a different crime,” he continued. “So I think people really need to make that distinction.”

Alyworth explained that many security guards in the city are usually unarmed anyway, citing liability concerns with the hiring companies. 

“It’s not that they’re not trained and that they can’t do it. It just adds more liability to security companies, and so most of them just don’t do it,” Alyworth said. “They would rather prefer and have a security guard that just simply observes and reports, and they don’t want the liability or the repercussions of something like this showing up in the news.”

Major retailers like Nordstrom, Whole Foods, H&M, T-Mobile, Office Depot and others have all closed their doors recently over concerns surrounding what many critics call the city’s surmounting drug and crime problem. 

The National Retail Federation’s 2022 retail security survey ranked San Francisco/Oakland as the second-most hard-hit metropolitan area by theft in 2020 and 2021, behind Los Angeles.

Fox News’ Louis Casiano and Kristine Parks contributed to this report. 

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