Exclusive: Historic LA Newspaper Pulls Pro-Gun Article Due to ‘Political Pressure’

Jonathan and Geneva Solomon founded Redstone Firearms five years go to educate and train their clients in firearm use and ownership.

A historic newspaper in Los Angeles caved last week to unnamed “educational and political partners” when editors decided to halt the publication of a pro-gun article highlighting a local gun shop and training service.

Jonathan and Geneva Solomon were surprised and excited when the Los Angeles Sentinel reached out to them to write a profile on their firearm training business, Redstone Firearms. The LA Sentinel is an African-American owned newspaper founded in 1933, and the Solomons cater primarily to the African-American community at two locations in the greater L.A. area.

It seemed like a good fit, and the journalist at the Sentinel wrote a largely positive piece emphasizing the Solomon’s commitment to safe and responsible firearms handling and ownership.

The day before the piece was set to be published, however, the Solomons were contacted by newspaper representatives who told them the piece was being pulled from the website due to political pressure. The representative specifically mentioned a gun control group called Mothers in Action, and Jonathan believes the pressure on the newspaper originated at even higher levels of power.

“A group in Los Angeles called Mothers in Action got with Maxine Waters and Cory Booker to pressure the Sentinel until the newspaper said, ‘We’ll scrap it,’” Jonathan told GunsAmerica. “We’ve been featured in other media outlets and have never had a problem. But when it comes to an all-black newspaper with an all-black self-defense company, they decided it was too much political pressure on them and they pulled it.”

Geneva was able to screen capture most of the article before it was taken down for good, which we’ve published below.

SEE ALSO: Cory Booker Wants Nationalized Gun Licensing, One-Gun-a-Month, Universal Background Checks

Jonathan admitted that the Sentinel representative didn’t name Sen. Booker or Rep. Waters specifically, but he does recall the newspaper mentioning “other political entities” along with Mothers in Action.

Neither the LA Sentinel nor Mothers in Action responded to multiple requests for comment on this story.

The Sentinel published a piece praising Sen. Booker’s anti-gun advocacy only a week before the Redstone Firearms piece was set to post. The paper is also headquartered just north of Rep. Water’s district, so it’s likely that many of its executive and editorial staff lives in the current and former districts of Congress’ most senior black member.

The Solomons felt that they had missed an opportunity to promote their family-owned business and been labeled as dangerous just because they operate a gun-related organization.

“I was highly irritated and pissed off. We’ve never promoted anything negative. It’s always been responsible gun ownership, consulting, educating and training. That’s it. I felt they were labeling us as some type of terrorist organization,” Jonathan told GunsAmerica.

SEE ALSO: Kamala Harris Will Ban Importation of ‘Assault Weapons’ via Executive Action

“It’s like they said, ‘We can’t run an article on them because it doesn’t paint the picture that all these other folks are painting. Guns are bad! Guns are bad! You shouldn’t talk about them.’”

The LA Sentinel also owns and operates a large, all-black festival in Los Angeles called the Taste of Soul. The Sentinel first heard about Redstone Firearms when the Solomons applied to be a vendor at the festival, and the festival organizers initially agreed to allow Jonathan and Geneva to sell merchandise and promote their self-defense training services. The organizers were even prepared to make Redstone Firearms a “featured vendor,” which is why they wanted to publish the original story.

When the newspaper decided to pull the piece, the Solomons had hoped they would still be allowed to pay for a booth at the festival. But the festival organizers soon reversed course.

“My boss notified me that they do not feel comfortable having your booth at the festival,” a Project Coordinator at Taste of Soul named Lauren Brazile told the Solomons via email. “They are concerned about backlash from our political and educational partners, as gun ownership is an extremely sensitive topic.”

Brazile promised to refund the Solomons $1,400 registration fee and apologized for “all of the confusion.”

Jonathan was disappointed that his business had been marginalized by a newspaper he remembered seeing while growing up in the LA area. He told GunsAmerica his grandmothers would read the LA Sentinel every week, and he remembers riding his bike past their offices when he was a boy.

But Jonathan and Geneva haven’t been silent. They called their clients—who they call their “family”—together, and they’ve sent dozens of emails and made dozens of calls to the Sentinel’s office in the last few days. The newspaper hasn’t responded, but Jonathan said he will continue to speak out.

“I can’t make them run the article but I sure as hell can say something about it.”

***Buy and Sell on GunsAmerica! All Local Sales are FREE!***

About the author: Jordan Michaels has been reviewing firearm-related products for over four years and enjoying them for much longer. With family in Canada, he’s seen first hand how quickly the right to self-defense can be stripped from law-abiding citizens. He escaped that statist paradise at a young age, married a sixth-generation Texan, and currently lives in Waco. Follow him on Instagram @bornforgoodluck and email him at jordan@gunsamerica.com.

{ 35 comments… add one }
  • Charles September 29, 2019, 2:45 pm

    I responded to the newsletter. I will encourage others to voice their opinion to the L.A. Sentinel. What you guys are doing needs to be heard, read, and seen. Black communities need to get over the fear of guns, we’ve certainly suffered from the use of legal and illegal gun use for generations.

  • RICK September 24, 2019, 11:53 am

    And there goes the 1st amendment…

  • Mr. Sparkles September 23, 2019, 10:26 am

    In California, the 1st Amendment does not apply to anything within the confines of the 2nd Amendment.

    No surprise here. Disappointment maybe, but no surprise.

  • Andrew N. September 22, 2019, 7:49 pm

    “A historic newspaper in Los Angeles caved last week to unnamed “educational and political partners”…Yeah, right, “educational partners”. These people ARE educational. All knowledge is beneficial, even if you don’t like or agree with it. The “anti-gunners” don’t want people actually educated about firearms, as their lying rhetoric no longer works, and “anti-gunners” become at least tolerant and most of the time new “gunners” themselves. Informed people make informed decisions. Uninformed people listen to whoever talks the loudest.

  • Robert September 22, 2019, 7:12 am

    Sounds like this should go to the Supreme Court

  • Michael J September 21, 2019, 11:40 pm

    Government censorship by slithering democrats. So much for the power of the press.

  • Ej harbet September 21, 2019, 7:47 pm

    Billionaires outspending patriots! Only been a true threat for a decade.
    They’re just getting spooled up.

  • Mike Watkins September 21, 2019, 6:57 pm

    To the Solomons, I want to say, stand tall and hang in there. I hope you are hugely successful. The American firearms community needs you, your fellow Black Americans need you. And whatever our background, we all need to stand together!

  • Ronald Gonshorowski September 20, 2019, 9:38 pm

    I don’t plan on providing firearms training at this time.
    But I am looking for investors to help build a underground firing range.
    I am planning on digging a large trench back into a hilly field and install large concrete pipe about 6 foot in diameter. Probably up to 4 to start with. They will be at least 100 yards long or longer if necessary.
    I am planning to use something like shipping containers or other structure to butt up to these.
    Access will be by electronic card 24/7 with special discount for LEO.
    The pipe will be totally covered so that farming can continue over the top.
    The only thing visible at the end will be vents for pressure relief.
    The county that I live in has no range, so I think this will be very popular.
    I am available on Twitter @gonshorowski.

  • FirstStateMark September 20, 2019, 8:43 pm

    Jonathan and Geneva Solomon, sorry to hear about this. It’s doesn’t surprise me one bit. Typical Democrats!

  • zulu mooly September 20, 2019, 7:58 pm

    Rename the festival “Taste of Worms”

  • Shan September 20, 2019, 6:50 pm

    Fahrenheit 451. Burn the books tear down the statues.

  • Davon September 20, 2019, 5:50 pm

    Keep up the great work Mr & Mrs. Solomon!!! We will continue to fight the good fight!

  • E September 20, 2019, 4:38 pm

    “first experience in purchasing a firearms was not friendly.”

    I’ve read about this same experience from others who were not black. Most were white. It has to do with the lousy attitude of some employees at some gun store franchises. I had a very good experience when I bought my first gun at a franchise, but I was with a cousin who was introducing me to the gun culture. Maybe that helped…? But when I used to go the same brand store closer to where I live, the employees selling guns were jerks. I will never go to that store, and others have expressed the same sentiment. Some pawn shops have terrible customer service as well, but I’ve found mom and pop gun shops to be the best deal especially the very small ones. I live around mostly Chinese residents and the few independent gun shops are Chinese owned. Some of their employees are kind and one in particular is outstanding. He’s American Chinese but he will give more information than I expected about a certain gun-related subject or product. You not only go away satisfied with a purchase, but you also go away more knowledgeable about something you didn’t know. And sometimes that something is necessary knowledge! I hope to visit Redstone Firearms if they open another store near me.

  • Penrod September 20, 2019, 1:27 pm

    I don’t see anything in that article which should have been controversial…other than the idea that all Americans have a right to own weapons which some politicians disagree with.

    I hope the people running the LA Sentinel are ashamed of themselves for allowing political actors to violate the 1st Amendment: that effort should have been a front page story.

    ‘How Representative XYZ Tried To Intimidate Us Into Killing A Story’ would have been a good headline. Still would be if they have some guts.

  • Kalashnikov Dude September 20, 2019, 12:46 pm

    It’s hard for me to understand the level of emphasis on the skin color of the subjects in this article. Left or right, our or the natural right to keep and bear arms, grated by our maker and codified in the highest law of our land has absolutely nothing to do with color, or for that matter, geographical location since our Constitution and bill of rights covers the continental United States and them some. Diminishing an argument down to the standards of those who would subvert the above mentioned seems counter productive. It’s time Rule of law, common values and principals take their stand from the higher ground rather than the false lip service the enemies of such pretend.

    • michael September 21, 2019, 9:51 am

      I was thinking the same thing. My family has been interracial for decades. I find the need to express such concern over a persons skin color as highly offensive in itself. I don’t care what color your skin is. They’re AMERICANS that is all. Get rid of the labels you get rid of the BS.

  • Chris H. September 20, 2019, 12:28 pm

    Mr. and Mrs. Solomon. I am sorry you are being treated this way and I am thrilled that you are standing up and making yourselves heard. I would hope everyone that reads this article would take moment and let the LA Sentinel know your feelings. You can find their contact information on their web page.

    “Ms. Bakewell

    I was saddened to read about your paper pulling the story about Redstone Firearms and then banning them from your festival. I can only sympathize with how ashamed you must be to let politicians and lobbyists decided what you can and can’t print. It is apparent that you have joined the other DNC sponsored media and no longer care about your community or disseminating real information and news.

    From what I have read of the article that was copied off your website before you pulled it, you had a chance to promote a strong African-American business that provides lifesaving training to the community. Instead, you chose to pull the story due to political pressure and damage the community you serve and the reputation of your organization and for what?

    Surely you must understand that a strong 2nd amendment protects a strong 1st amendment? You have my condolences for the loss of your integrity and independence as a news organization.

    Thanks,
    Chris H”

    • Geneva Solomon September 20, 2019, 7:22 pm

      Thank you for reaching out to the Sentinel and expressing your discontent!

      With love,
      Redstone Firearms

  • James Summers September 20, 2019, 10:04 am

    So public has a RIGHT to know but only what news censors deem appropriate ??
    Who says news media not bias or do not have their own agenda.
    And we are supposed to trust and respect these liars ??
    Save us all !!

  • Larry Nikel September 20, 2019, 9:52 am

    The media and democrats are hand in hand for total remove free America. They are pushing hard to take over the country. They want to
    Make America a Socelist country no religion no freedom like China, Russia.

  • ATGR September 20, 2019, 9:18 am

    So if you’re pro 2’nd Amendment, they suppress you’re right to the 1’st Amendment. EVERYONE, your God given rights are truly in jeopardy.

  • Kevin Rhodes September 20, 2019, 8:14 am

    Where has freedom of speech and a free press gone if a newspaper won’t publish an article they pushed for in the first place. Political pressure or not stand your ground present both sides not just the one that liberals want us all to see.

  • J. M. September 20, 2019, 8:08 am

    If you research the history of CC permitting, it began as a way for Dims to keep freed Blacks from acquiring firearms.
    And they haven’t stopped since.

  • Son_of_Liberty September 20, 2019, 7:22 am

    People being silenced by political figures? Wait, where has that happened before? Oh right, Nazi Germany. Hitler would love these democrats. They follow him to the “T”.

    • D.J. September 20, 2019, 1:55 pm

      You missed , Soviet Russia , red China , Cuba , North Korea ,
      Vietnam , & etc.
      Communists are communists , no matter what continent they
      may be living upon .

  • Dr Motown September 20, 2019, 6:47 am

    How dare those black folks get their rights from anyone other than their DNC masters

  • Scott September 20, 2019, 6:03 am

    This highlights the true agenda of the Democratic party when it comes to African-Americans. They truly want to keep black Americans under a new form of slavery…keep them disarmed and economically dependent on their social programs in order to cultivate and keep the African-American community as a captive voting bloc. So far they have succeeded, with well over 90% of the black population voting for them nationwide.

    Thankfully, the African-American community is realizing this and becoming truly “woke”, throwing off the chains that the Democrats are so vigorously trying to keep them bound with.

    I implore the entire African-American community to ignore the cultural stigma, that “real black people” HAVE to vote for Democrats and are betraying their race by voting otherwise. Trump has done more for the black community than any President in recent history. Please, DO NOT let them dictate to you how to think and how to vote!

  • Sepp W September 20, 2019, 4:31 am

    And who said freedom of the press was alive and well in the US? Or at least in California. My advice to the Solomons; leave California before your livelihood is destroyed.

    • AK September 20, 2019, 7:38 am

      NO! NO! NO! I hear people talking about “leaving Colorado.” Where next? Nebraska? Oklahoma? TEXAS!? The whole US? Where do you go from there?

      STAND AND FIGHT! We have not only to keep what we have, we have to take back these places that have been infected.

  • Juan Lopez jr September 20, 2019, 3:01 am

    Cali born (LA) texas raised, keep doing what your doing 👍👍, keep ya in my prayers for your success 🙏🙏

  • Richard September 19, 2019, 8:16 pm

    How the heck would any outside political or other entities even know about the article before it was published?

    • Geneva Solomon September 20, 2019, 8:39 am

      The article ran on their website for less than 24 hours then it was pulled. It made the print version. Then they kicked us out of the festival.

  • Fred September 19, 2019, 11:16 am

    This is more evidence that the Democrats don’t want independent black men and women who are able to defend themselves, who might become self confident and realize they don’t need Democrats to rule over them.

    • Dan September 20, 2019, 7:12 am

      Exactly, and it is also more evidence that all or most newspapers are controlled and censored by politics and radical leftist organizations with their leftist agendas. It also further proves what a leftist cesspool California is.

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