Benito Barrios

San Bernardino City Councilman Benito Barrios posted a gun for sale on his Facebook page Monday night, during a council meeting. (Google Images)

By Ryan Hagen, The Sun
Posted: 09/22/15 – 9:45 PM PDT |

SAN BERNARDINO >> As a citizen committee explained recommended changes to the city’s charter during a City Council meeting Monday, Councilman Benito Barrios was on Facebook, trying to sell his friend’s gun.

Within an hour, his Facebook friends were questioning the post, and soon screenshots were being shared in Facebook groups and Twitter to widespread criticism.

“I guess his ward isn’t as important as that firearm and said friend,” said Eliza Cortez.

While some focused on the timing — saying the middle of a City Council meeting demands a council member to pay attention to what’s happening, not his personal business — others said that selling a gun, in particular, sent a poor message.

“Folks, I supported Benito in his initial campaign, but no more,” wrote Jeff Thurman, a former resident of the 2nd Ward, where Barrios was elected in 2013. “I’ve sent him the following message: Benito, I am distressed and seriously disappointed in you! I saw your post selling a weapon on Facebook. In a City wracked by gun violence every day of the year, did you really think it wise that a sitting Council Member would be offering for sale a weapon that can only add to the violence?”

Thurman and others also questioned the legality of the gun sale, which was unclear, but Barrios said Tuesday that it was legal.

And, Barrios said, it was a mistake.

“One of my veteran friends texted me,” said Barrios, who served in the Marine Corps for 16 years. “This was during the presentations being given. So it took me 30, 40 seconds in between presentations. … The perception is very bad for the people, and I’m aware of that. It’ll probably never happen again.”

To read expanded article, click here.