AmmoLand’s Petrolino Named “Media Figure of the Year” by San Diego County Gun Owners

Wendy Chou Hauffen Gun Prom 2022
Wendy Hauffen Presents John Petrolino Media Figure of the Year Award at Gun Prom 2022

San Diego, California – -( On June 18, 2022, AmmoLand News contributors John Petrolino and Charlie Cook headed to San Diego County Gun Owners (SDCGO) 6th annual “gun prom” event.

The event, officially called the “San Diego County Gun Owners 2A Celebration Dinner” brought Second Amendment supporters, competitive shooters, podcasters, and personalities from all over the country. The annual gathering is both a celebration and fundraiser, as well as a pep rally for gun rights enthusiasts and advocates. In attendance were several members of different organizations including The DC Project and Firearms Policy Coalition to note.

A number of donated items were available for bidding on in a silent auction, and there was a gift raffle as well, for those who wished to take a chance on winning some cool firearms or accessories. A paddle auction occurred that evening that yielded around $22,000.00 in donations for the women’s program Not Me SD.

SDCGO member and superstar of the SDCGO YouTube Channel, Monique Hawk, delivered the “welcome” to everyone that evening, which was followed by the national anthem performed by Grace Del Bagno. Assemblywoman Laurie Davies from the 73rd District led the crowd in reciting The Pledge of Allegiance of the United States. The evening was not full of boorish long-winded speeches, but a few remarks that were well suited for the crowd and not overbearing. Michael Schwartz, the Executive Director was welcomed to the stage with booming applause and a warm welcome from the crowd. Schwartz epitomizes what it means to be a patriot and a good advocate for the Second Amendment, and that was prevalent in his speeches that evening. Adam Kraut from the Firearms Policy Coalition delivered remarks about why the fight in California is so important, and La Mesa City Councilmember Laura Lothian talked about safeguarding the Second Amendment in her jurisdiction.

Michael Schwartz from San Diego County Gun Owners Gun Prom 2022
Michael Schwartz from San Diego County Gun Owners, on the big screen Gun Prom 2022

A number of awards were given out to different volunteers, members, and others involved with SDCGO. During the award ceremony, Schwartz talked about having to deal constantly with hostile members of the media. He then took a chance to point out what he considered an exception to the rule of media members not being on the side of liberty, and announced that AmmoLand News’s own John Petrolino was being presented the 2022 “Media Figure of the Year Award.” When asked about the award, Schwartz had the following to say:

“The Media Figure of the Year Award goes to a professional member of the media who gives the Second Amendment its due.  John Petrolino’s coverage of issues that are important to the average gun owner is impeccable, effective, and important.  His coverage of San Diego’s sheriff’s race was fantastic and we are appreciative that he goes above and beyond to get to the truth.” – Michael Schwartz, Executive Director of SDCGO

Schwartz further noted on June 19th’s broadcast of Gun Owner’s Radio, with Cook and Petrolino in studio, that Petrolino’s contribution to original reporting on firearm-related issues, and in particular his coverage of California and San Diego topics merited the award presentation.

Charlie Cook, also known for his celebrated and award-winning show Riding Shotgun With Charlie, was with Petrolino when the announcement was made. Cook had a few things to say about gun prom and on his fellow contributor receiving such an award.

“Of all the pro Second Amendment social gatherings I’ve attended, San Diego County Gun Owners ‘gun prom’ was the biggest! It was a friend-raiser and a fundraiser. Hearing them call out The Pen Patriot as Media Figure of the Year and looking at John saying ‘That’s you! They called your name!’ was fantastic.”

June 19, 2022 John Petrolino and Charlie Cook in studio Gun Owners Radio San Diego California
Joe Drammissi, Dave Stall, Michael Schwartz, Action Jackson, John Petrolino, and Charlie Cook in studio Gun Owners Radio June 19, 2022

Petrolino was shocked by the announcement and humbled by the experience. He said to AmmoLand News that it was great to be honored by an organization that’s doing so much. He stated:

“It’s really humbling to be honored for my work by a group that’s made real contributions to the gun owning community and they’ve achieved measured results. Knowing that San Diego County Gun Owners was the organization to get the County issuing carry permits, where the Peruta case failed to do so, says a lot. Getting the ‘Media Figure of the Year’ award will forever be a cherished memory and I’m grateful for all the wonderful people at the organization, in particular Michael Schwartz, CEO Wendy Chou Hauffen, Board Members Joe Drammissi, Rich Yumul, and Gina Roberts, as well as Gun Owners Radio Host Dave Stall. I consider them all my left coast family!”

John Petrolino 2022 San Diego County Gun Owners Media Member of the Year
John Petrolino 2022 San Diego County Gun Owners Media Figure of the Year

Fredy Riehl, Editor-In-Chief of AmmoLand News was excited to hear the news about one of his writers receiving such an award. Riehl had the following to say about Petrolino:

“Congradulation to John, this award is much deserved! John has been a great asset to AmmoLand News with his hard-hitting coverage of Second Amendment wastland states, like New Jersey.” “John Petrolion taking home this award continues to cement AmmoLand News’ reputation as the nation’s most award-winning Pro 2A News organization.”

The San Diego County Gun Owners’ annual celebration dinner was a huge success and AmmoLand News was happy to be represented there. We here at AmmoLand News collectively congratulate Petrolino on being awarded for his excellence in writing, journalism, and activism. We also look forward to learning about future successes and events from our friends on the left coast.

About San Diego County Gun Owners

San Diego County Gun Owners (SDCGO) is a political organization that focuses on expanding and restoring Second Amendment rights within San Diego County. SDCGO was formed due to aggressive and successful legislation and regulatory effort to significantly limit or eliminate the firearms industry and the general ownership and use of firearms and the firearms industry in California at the municipal, county, and state levels. SDCGO’s solution is a local, non-partisan, volunteer group with a full-time staff that does four things to get the right people elected on local San Diego councils and boards:

  • Second Amendment Advocacy at the city/county level
  • Second Amendment Community Organizing
  • Political Fundraising
  • Working with the local gun industry on the first 3

San Diego County Gun Owners

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Gun Owners Radio

It was great having you join us for Gun Prom!


Way to go, John. Well done!