Responding to the horrific mass shooting of a gay nightclub in June, a Connecticut gun maker announced this week it will provide funding for firearm training efforts for the LGBT community.
Standard Manufacturing Company, a small outfit known for producing rifles and tactical shotguns, has teamed with the gay gun rights group Pink Pistols and two tactical training companies — Empowered Firearms & Training and Global Dynasty Corps — to teach members of the LGBT community in self-defense. Standard will be paying instructors to lead classes.
“The LGBT Community has the second largest percentage of hate crime violence due to their sexual orientation, and thus it is imperative that what happened in Orlando is never repeated,” said Louis M. Frutuoso, Standard’s owner.
“I urge the entire American firearms industry to unite with the Pink Pistols organization and help support our fellow Americans no matter what their sexual orientation is,” he added.
In press materials, the company said the goal is to “encourage a professional, safe, and comfortable learning environment in the field of firearms and self-protection.”
In June, 49 people were killed and 53 injured when a gunman opened fire inside Pulse nightclub in Orlando. The incident was the worst mass shooting in recent history and the deadliest act of violence against LGBT people.
Pink Pistols had a notable role in public discourse in the wake of the shooting as the organization countered calls for increased gun control as a solution to prevent violence on the gay community. The group reportedly nearly doubled in membership since the shooting.