July 7, 2016

BELLEVUE, WA — In the aftermath of Wednesday’s shooting of a legally armed citizen in the St. Paul, Minnesota suburb of Falcon Heights during a traffic stop, the Second Amendment Foundation and Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms are calling for an independent investigation.

“Wednesday night’s shooting of Philando Castile is very troubling, especially to the firearms community, because he was a legally-armed private citizen who may have done nothing more than reach for his identification and carry permit,” said Alan Gottlieb, SAF founder and executive vice president. He also chairs the CCRKBA. “We have received calls of alarm today from many of our members across the country. They are justifiably concerned that a law-abiding citizen may have been wrongfully killed.”

Gottlieb has viewed a video that was reportedly broadcast live on Facebook in the aftermath by Castile’s girlfriend, Diamond “Lavish” Reynolds. She was in the car, along with her 4-year-old daughter and witnessed the shooting.

“America’s 13 million citizens who are licensed to carry deserve to know exactly what happened and why,” Gottlieb stated. “There are conflicting explanations, and only an independent investigation can hopefully reveal the truth.

“We understand that Gov. Mark Dayton has asked the White House for a federal investigation,” he added, “and we believe that either the Minnesota State Patrol, or an agency of equal stature from another state could also be invited to investigate.

“We are cognizant of the racial overtones arising from Mr. Castile’s death,” Gottlieb noted. “The concerns of our members, and honest gun owners everywhere, go even deeper. Exercising our right to bear arms should not translate to a death sentence over something so trivial as a traffic stop for a broken tail light, and we are going to watch this case with a magnifying glass.”

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