NRA sues San Francisco on First Amendment grounds

by WorldTribune Staff, September 12, 2019

San Francisco’s move to label the National Rifle Association a “domestic terrorist organization” is another attempt at blacklisting by leftists who seek to squelch free speech they don’t agree with, the NRA said after filing a lawsuit against the city.

NRA CEO Wayne LaPierre. / Photo by Gage Skidmore / Creative Commons / CC BY-SA 2.0

“This action is an assault on all advocacy organizations across the country,” said William A. Brewer III, the NRA’s lawyer. “There can be no place in our society for this manner of behavior by government officials. Fortunately, the NRA, like all U.S. citizens, is protected by the First Amendment.”

The lawsuit, filed in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, explains what the NRA said is the city’s true motive:

“In the face of recent, similar blacklisting schemes, financial institutions have expressed reluctance to provide bank accounts for disfavored political groups, and city contractors fear losing their livelihoods if they support or even work with the NRA.”

In passing the resolution last week designating the NRA a terror organization, San Francisco officials violated the NRA’s free speech rights for political reasons and is seeking to blacklist anyone associated with the gun lobby, the NRA said in the lawsuit.

The lawsuit asks the court to step in “to instruct elected officials that freedom of speech means you cannot silence or punish those with whom you disagree.”

In passing the resolution, the San Francisco Board of Supervisors said the NRA “spreads propaganda that seeks to deceive the public about the dangers of gun violence.” Board of Supervisors member Catherine Stefani drafted the resolution after a shooting at the Gilroy Garlic Festival in August.

Stefani said the NRA’s lawsuit was “a desperate move by a very desperate organization.”

NRA CEO Wayne LaPierre said the lawsuit “comes with a message to those who attack the NRA: We will never stop fighting for our law-abiding members and their constitutional freedoms.”

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