Coercive Boycotts Against Companies Doing Business With NRA Are Illegal

By Roger J. Katz, Attorney at Law and Stephen L. D'Andrilli

United Airlines pulls Discount for NRA members
United Airlines pulls Discount for NRA members,
Arbalest Quarrel
Arbalest Quarrel

New York, NY  -(Ammoland.com)-  In the wake of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School tragedy in Parkland Florida, antigun proponents and activists, in furtherance of their agenda to destroy the Second Amendment, have renewed their attack on guns, gun owners, and on the NRA.

Coercive Boycotts Against Companies Doing Business With NRA Are Illegal.

This is a three-pronged attack: one, calling on Congress and on the States to enact new repressive gun laws, banning firearms that are in common use; two, demonizing and castigating the oldest civil rights organization in this Country, NRA, which Antigun activists and their fellow travelers in Congress and in the Press disparagingly refer to as the “Gun Lobby;” and, three, attacking companies that do business with the NRA.

The demonization of the NRA is particularly detestable as the organization does nothing more than defend afundamental right, as codified in the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution: the right of the people to keep and bear arms. To attack the NRA is to attack the Nation's Bill of Rights. See the Arbalest Quarrel article, “NRA Freedom, Join It!”

Antigun groups, bankrolled by billionaire Globalists, who have their own agenda—destruction of the United States as an independent sovereign Nation State along with the dismantling of the Nation’s Bill of Rights—have orchestrated marches and demonstrations to urge State and federal lawmakers to enact news laws banning semiautomatic weapons. And, as against the NRA, antigun groups have unveiled in recent days another strategy: the boycott. This tactic involves targeting companies that have partnership arrangements with NRA.

What Is A Boycott?

In the traditional sense of ‘boycott’ one may think of workers, picket lines, and of labor unions demanding higher wages for workers to preclude a “walk-out.” If management fails to accede to demands for higher wages, workers refuse to work. The union and management reach a settlement, or one side capitulates. This is a typical example of the “labor boycott.”

But, boycotts may have a non-labor purpose. 

“The purpose of these boycotts is to protest some condition and induce action on the part of the targeted parties to correct the condition. The condition protested against may be political, social or economic in nature.” Countless Free-Standing Trees: Non-Labor Boycotts After NAACP v. Claiborne Hardware Co., 71 Ky. L.J. 899, 900 (1983), by Carl Boyd.

One sub-set of the non-labor boycott is the “political boycott.” “A ‘political’ boycott is one in which the primary goal of the protesters is to change governmental policy or to secure the enactment of new laws. This term includes anti-discrimination boycotts which are not primarily directed at economic opportunities such as jobs. One major distinction between ‘political’ and ‘economic’ boycotts is that the political boycott is basically secondary, with its primary focus on forcing the boycott target to use its influence to seek governmental change. Many boycotts have involved a political element.” Id. At 900, fn 8.

We see this here. When using the tactic of political boycotts, antigun groups do not target NRA directly but, rather, target the companies that do business with NRA.

Time.com reports:

Gun-control advocates have had some success pressuring businesses to cut ties with the National Rifle Association in the wake of the deadly Florida high school shooting. But several major companies are still under pressure. Even as businesses like Hertz, Enterprise, United Airlines, and MetLife end their partnerships with the NRA, firms such as FedEx continue offering discount programs for NRA members. And major streaming TV services run by some of the world’s biggest tech companies still give the NRA a platform for its message by showing its channel NRATV, advocates argue.’

Antigun Attacks Against Companies That Have Business Relationships With NRA Are Both Morally Outrageous & Legally Suspect.

BoyCott NRA Tweets
BoyCott NRA Tweets

The mainstream media, long in bed with antigun groups, do not bother to inform the public that these boycotts may very well be illegal.

“Boycott organizers and participants face two fundamental legal obstacles: 1) to be sustained, the boycott must withstand efforts to enjoin supporting activities, such as picketing; and 2) even if the boycott is successful, boycott organizers might be liable for large damages from tort claims. Both of these concerns are tied to a common issue, the ‘legality’ of the boycott. A finding of illegality may arise from three sources: 1) general tort principles concerned with interference with prospective advantage; 2) state statutes regulating picketing or attempting to limit interference with business activity; or 3) antitrust legislation, especially the Sherman Act. Underlying the legality issue is the fact that these boycotts create a conflict between the public interest in the goals espoused and the property interest of those boycotted, a conflict compounded by the issue of first amendment rights claimed by protesters.” NAACP v. Claiborne Hardware Co. at 902.

Antigun groups apparently believe that their actions will invariably withstand legal scrutiny because political boycotts fall within the free Speech Clause of the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. But, do they? If antigun groups’ actions against companies that do business with the NRA amount to extortion against companies—namely, “relinquish your association with NRA or face economic ruin”—their use of boycotts then crosses the line into forbidden territory.

We need, then, to look at both the motives and the consequences of the actions taken by antigun groups. We do not presume that, because the purpose of a boycott is political or social in nature, such boycott does not amount to illegal tortious conduct under State law or does not amount to an illicit restraint of trade under the Sherman Act. Any use of a boycott to promote a political or social agenda must be scrutinized, carefully, no less so than as with labor boycotts.

Resist 45 Kill the NRA Billboard
Resist 45 Kill the NRA Billboard

It is one thing to promote one’s personal political and social views in the public forum. It is quite another to threaten others, in the economic arena—to adopt a group’s private political agenda. Doing so amounts to extortion.

“Using a motive test [alone] to determine the legality of a boycott ignores economic effects and may impair competition. . . . A political boycott exemption . . . does not simply permit groups with political grievances of offset the superior economic power of businesses that are on the opposite side of a political dispute. Rather, it favors the welfare of an interest group over the welfare of consumers in the aggregate. . . . Boycotts not only are objectionable on grounds of efficiency, but also deserve less First Amendment protection than other protest activities. While boycotts may contain elements of speech, association, and petition, they also introduce collusive economic pressure into political disputes. A truly effective boycott succeeds not by persuading, but by forcing a choice between political capitulation and economic bankruptcy. The claim that political boycotts are a form of protected speech therefore possesses little merit. The category of protected political speech is broad, but the most vigorous arguments, exhortations, and threats still allow the target more freedom than does direct economic pressure. The former can promise only adverse publicity, embarrassment, or ostracism; the latter holds the victim's very livelihood hostage until he changes his political position. However laudable the goals behind a boycott, courts should not allow a private group to dictate who will have access to the market and on what terms.” A Market Power Test for Noncommercial Boycotts, 93 Yale L.J. 523, 526-527 (January, 1984), by Paul G. Mahoney.

Coercing Companies to adopt the antigun agenda is morally objectionable if not illegal; and, where, as here, antigun groups seek to destroy a sacred right codified in the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, such actions of antigun groups are reprehensible.Antigun groups are attempting to promote their agenda and to simultaneously crush dissent by compelling, through threat of economic disaster, compliance with a political agenda that companies may not share.

Antigun Groups’ Use Of Boycotts Also Infringes The Rights Of Consumers Who Do Not Share The Antigun Groups’ Antipathy Toward Firearms And Toward The Second Amendment.

Antigun groups will claim that, through use of boycotts, they are simply exercising their right of free speech under the First Amendment. But, what about the First Amendment rights of NRA members? Don’t their rights deserve protection, too?

By forcing companies to discontinue offering discounts to NRA members, antigun groups are illegally and unconscionably seeking to crush dissent—essentially arguing that NRA members’ First Amendment rights of association and expression must be constrained while antigun members’ First Amendment rights are maintained, and given free rein.

Congress Can And Should Act Against Antigun Groups That Coerce Companies To Accede To The Groups' Political Agenda.

“Congressional regulation of ‘political’ boycotts is similarly justified as a protection of the political process itself. Congress regularly applies restraints to political activities to ensure fairness. It has, for example, passed laws controlling the conduct of election campaigns, forbidding intimidation or coercion of voters, and prohibiting lying before government officials. Regulation of political protest to prevent economic coercion seems equally valid—and necessary to protect the integrity of the legislative process.” A Market Power Test for Noncommercial Boycotts, at 533.

Alert: Contact Your Republican Representatives In Congress Now!

Tell Congress to enact laws to prevent antigun groups from coercing and threatening retaliatory action against companies that do not adopt the groups’ political views.

PHONE: U.S. Senate: (202) 224-3121;
PHONE: U.S. House of Representatives: (202) 225-3121

______________________________________________

Copyright © 2018 Roger J Katz (Towne Criour), Stephen L. D’Andrilli (Publius) All Rights Reserved.

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  • 26 thoughts on “Coercive Boycotts Against Companies Doing Business With NRA Are Illegal

    1. “NRA members’ First Amendment rights of association and expression must be constrained while antigun members’ First Amendment rights are maintained, and given free rein.”
      Precisely. If you don’t agree with them then you’re a bigot & a child killer & have no right to speak. & some believe you have no right to live either. Kind of ironic & hypocritical how the liberal anti-2As profess to be all about tolerance, love, personal freedom, respecting & treating everyone equally, not discriminating against anyone for their beliefs, etc. yet that only applies if you agree with everything they stand for, which therefore is none of those things I listed. I understand it from the politicians & the puppet masters, but the sheep- unquestioningly eating whatever they’re fed- I cannot comprehend.

      1. Do you think that any of the mass murderers were NRA members? Also you think that we as NRA members want children to die? We have children as well. Go troll somewhere else.

      2. What about your anti-bullying campaign? That wasn’t getting you guys enough publicity anymore?
        #bullyingawareness #antibullying #MDAisabully #Everytownisabully #stopbullyingNRA

    2. Let me see here. A company can not take a position on an issue that conflicts with your point of view. Putin is Proud of you. Me not so much as my Mind Is Free, try it you might like it.

      1. How many of those killers were NRA members. they were not law abiding citizens or even close to it. You raise your children with no respect for life then blame the NRA and it members that is really stupid. How about all those kids driving around playing on the phone stop killing people and that problem is growing worse every day. And you and your kind raised them like that you are just blaming everybody else for you short comings you turned your back and forget you have a responsibility to manage your children and teach them right from wrong.

        1. @rh…That question has been asked by the left wing media . Guess what researched fact not one of the mass killers was a NRA member !!

      2. My mind is free that is just what your problem you can not accept that anyone take a position on an issue that conflicts with your point of view. Putin is Proud of you as well. Me not so much as my Mind Is Free, and it actually works try it you might like it.

    3. All I can do is make sure my money gets spent at the companies that still support law abiding gun owners. Those companies can do what they want but we don’t have to use there services any more. There are plenty of other place that do the same things that we can utilize instead and that is what I intend to do as well as not dealing with Dick’s or REI, or Walmart either. I have been a life member of the NRA for 44 years and I don’t agree with everything they say or do but I will continue to support the NRA as long as I am alive.

    4. Any body happen to see the news this morning where the governor of Georgia penalized Delta airlines for dropping the NRA, and the discounts for its members? Evidently Delta was in line to receive a thirty eight million dollar tax break for jet fuel, but not anymore. Also Deltas main head quarters, is in Georgia, and they were politely asked to move. I really hope more companies follow suit, Maybe, just maybe, this will start a trend for the good guys.

      1. Remember the NC Bathroom Bill, Google, Paypal, NCAA and others stopped plans to expand into NC.
        I guess it only works one way? Companies are using jobs to influence how a State Legislature and Governor pass the laws that were enacted.

    5. All these lefties a cheering their own doom. I hope this crap will embolden more law abiding gun owners to join the NRA.

    6. We need a list of all these companies so NRA members and gun owners can boycott those companies.
      After almost 40 year of doing business with bank of America I stopped last Friday, I also destroyed my credit card from Dicks sporting goods. If I am the only one it want have much effect, but it might if 5,000,000 NRA member do the same and the rest of the supposed 65,000,000 gun owners will join the boycott , I think it would make a difference.

      1. @Pistol Pete…Sorry I can’t do that. As I said the other night I have been dick’s once years ago. I was looking for reloading components . I was treated as though I was a sub human red neck because I was a reloader . They seemed to think they were the Guchi of sporting goods. Have never gone back, don’t miss them don’t need them. I have found several small business in the business , they either have everything I need or will happily get it for me.

    7. Contact these companies. I cancelled my Bank of Omaha NRA card the day they announced they no longer wish to do business with the NRA. When they asked why I was cancelling I told them you stated you no longer want to do business with me. The rep seemed a little confused so I elaborated. I’m the NRA, it’s not just some faceless corporation like your bank it’s 5+ million Americans. If you don’t want to do business with us that’s fine we will go elsewhere. I’m the NRA!

      If you have a balance to a balance transfer to another card there is usually a lower interest rate on transfers often for an entire year so you will also save yourself some money.

    8. I don’t see this as illegal people have a right to put pressure on company they don’t like the views instead of bitching we should just boycott companies that do this like Dicks now and start making a list for gun owners to find that go against our 2nd amendment rights. I’m sure people here would agree with me but I never eat Chick filet because of the CEO views they go again my beliefs usually don’t care if their view is put out there but others. But when the person comes out saying the thinks he said I have the right to boycott. You should always tell company’s how you feel with your money or lack of money you spend at the store.

      1. YOU hve the right to vote with YOUR money poke. Spend what is YOUR where YOU want to spend it. But you do NOT have the right to demand all your employees, co-workers, club friends, etc, vote with THEIR money the same way YOU do. That is beyond “free speech” because it is not free. You are part of the crybaby movement that whines, screams, pressures, threatens, even destroys (and if you don’t think economic ruin is a threat if you don’t do what I say you should, wake up)

        As to Dan Cathy, and Chick fil A, you DO realise your indicated sexual preference is a deviantly tiny pecentage of the population at large, and that Mr. Cathy’s is consistent with the vast majority don’t you? So, by taking your stand against HIS expressed prefrence you take a stand against some ninety plus percent of America.

        Another incident recently put Delta Airllines and Atlanta’s airport in the news: remember back a few weeks ag, there was a huge power outage at ATL, all operations ceased, none of the food vendors could operate, thousands were trapped there because outbound flights were cancelled. No way to et out no food to eat……. This happened on a Sunday.

        Now enter your anti-hero Dan Cathy and his company Chik fil A. Remember they are closed on Sunday, in honour of the command to keep the Sabbath. (same source as the command NOT to engage in any sexual activity outside of marriage, which is defined as one spouse for life of the other sex you are). Spo WHAT do you supoose Mr. Cathy did? He contacted the managers of the Atlanta area Cfa stores, asked them to try and find employees to come in and prepare food. Hundreds did. Truckloads of their sandwiches, and bottled water, were brought to the stranded refugees in Atlana’s Airport, and passed out.. for FREE. And NOT ONE PERSON was asked about their sexual preferences, marital status, religious affiliation, or anything else. Thousands of sandwiches were handed out, no charge, to ANYONE who wanted one. The employees who came in on their day off were paid, too. And Mr. Cathy picked up the whole tab. Same thing happened in and around Houston during Harvey and the flooding. Except that happend on anyday of the week…. Chik fil A fed thousands in shelters, no cost.
        It might also be of note to you that Chik fil A restaurants hire any homosexual who wants to work there, and hundreds do all across the nation.

        Personally I do not approve of NRA’s weak-kneed tactics, refusal to stand against many issues that ARE related to our right to arms. BUT I support them and their work overall. I will cease doing business with the companies who get on the Kill NRA bandwagon. They are opposed to my deeper convictions, rooted in God’s laws and our natioin’s Constitution, whcih, last I checked, remained the Supreme Law of the Land.

      1. @NRA Instructor, I can do that but you have to tell me more about why is should, first. I think that the politicians are catching on that the vast majority of the voters will not stand for our due process and firearms civil rights to be diminished. I think that Dicks, Walmart, and Delta are catching on fast. I think that we are turning the tide.

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