SAN DIEGO — LGBTQ bars in Hillcrest are stepping up security in response to the Colorado Springs shooting.
The Rail in Hillcrest is now using metal detector wands to screen patrons before they come in.
Wesley Bullen, manager of The Rail, says they want to prevent a horrific shooting like the one that happened in Colorado Springs from ever happening in San Diego.
“It became a no brainer to keep everybody as safe as possible with even copycats out there and try to detect any weapons that might come in that can be harmful,” Bullen said.
After the shooting of a gay nightclub in Colorado Springs, Bullen says every patron must pass through metal detection to enter.
“The Rail is definitely like here an institution. It’s the oldest gay bar in San Diego,” patron Gavin Jelinski said. “So I’m really glad that they’re doing something and setting an example for maybe some other places.”
Wesley says the shooting at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Florida, years earlier also struck him.
“Pulse Orlando was my first gay bar that I went to about 20 years ago, so that was a big shock to me in 2016,” Bullen said.
He says there will be adequate security guards each night. He also says there have recently been increased police patrols.
“These are safe spaces and they should be treated as such if that means more security then so be it,” Jelinski said.
The manager also says his team plans to conduct an active shooter training with two other bars in the area in the coming weeks.