NRA Sues Gun Hating San Francisco: Why NRA Could and Should Win

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NRA Sues Gun Hating San Francisco: Why NRA Could and Should Win

U.S.A.-(Ammoland.com)- Even when it appears to be in a weakened condition, history has repeatedly demonstrated that kicking the National Rifle Association when it is down can bring the organization fighting back from behind circled wagons and hitting hard.

Thus, when the San Francisco Board of Supervisors (BOS) recently voted unanimously to declare the NRA a “domestic terrorist organization,” the association struck back, filing a federal lawsuit in U.S. District Court in San Francisco. Arguments made in their complaint raise strong points that could carry the day, along with the fact that President Donald Trump has been quietly filling federal court vacancies—including those in the liberal Ninth Circuit—with conservative judges. This week, the president’s court appointments hit a new record, according to the Washington Times. The Senate confirmed his 150th nominee, a fact that has alarmed liberal groups. Seven of those appointments have been to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco.

Add to that, the NRA is getting some interesting support from a surprising corner: the press. Not that this will matter in any court other than the court of public opinion, but columnists writing for the Los Angeles Times and Washington Post both have accused the Board of Supervisors of grossly overstepping its authority.

The court complaint pulls no punches. For example, on Page 10, the lawsuit notes, “The Resolution was authored by Supervisor Catherine Stefani, whose public presence centers around anti-Second Amendment advocacy. Such advocacy is Stefani’s constitutional right—but just as the Constitution entitles her to criticize and debate the NRA, it forbids her from wielding the powers of her office to suppress or retaliate against the NRA’s exercise of its First Amendment rights.”

In a footnote on that page, NRA attorneys added, “Stefani’s website describes her as ‘a City Hall veteran, gun violence prevention activist and former prosecutor,’ and notes that she serves as a ‘spokesperson’ for multiple anti-gun advocacy groups whose raison d'être is to oppose the NRA. See https://sfbos.org/supervisor-stefani-district-2. Stefani appears to maintain an active Twitter feed, which rarely discusses the broader welfare of the City of San Francisco but contains copious invective against the NRA and gun owners.”

On the next page, the lawsuit asserts;

“The Resolution then ‘declare[s] the National Rifle Association a domestic terrorist organization.’ The Resolution also commits San Francisco’s government to make a list of the vendors and contractors to the government who have relationships with the NRA, and further to deny business to those vendors and contractors unless they cease their relationships with the NRA.”

This argument is important, as explained on Page 14 of the complaint, which states emphatically:

“While it might be an acceptable exercise of the government’s power to condemn the NRA, or even lob undignified invective at millions of law-abiding gun owners, the government cannot apply its powers in a targeted, adverse manner against those with whom it disagrees—and the government certainly cannot do so in order to stifle or punish disfavored speech. Such conduct unambiguously violates the First Amendment, especially where, as here, it is not tied to any compelling, significant or legitimate government interest.”

Even a liberal federal court judge will have to consider this allegation seriously, and liberal courts—which may or may not be keen on the Second Amendment—are traditionally big on First Amendment issues.

The 23-page lawsuit is an interesting read, and it also alleges on Page 14;

“The Resolution intentionally violates the First Amendment speech and association rights of the NRA and its members. Defendants’ conduct would chill a person of ordinary firmness from continuing to speak against gun control, or from associating expressively or commercially with the NRA; these ongoing constitutional violations constitute irreparable injuries.”

It gets worse for the BOS in the next paragraph, as NRA attorneys assert, “Defendants’ actions further attempt to improperly compel speech of the NRA’s members and supporters by requiring them to disclose relationships with the NRA so that the government can coerce them to cease their relationships with the NRA or lose all government contracts.”

The proverbial “smoking gun” appears to be in the final three paragraphs of the actual resolution, where it is:

“FURTHER RESOLVED, That the City and County of San Francisco should take every reasonable step to assess the financial and contractual relationships our vendors and contractors have with this domestic terrorist organization; and, be it

“FURTHER RESOLVED, That the City and County of San Francisco should take every reasonable step to limit those entities who do business with the City and County of San Francisco from doing business with this domestic terrorist organization; and be it

“FURTHER RESOLVED, That the City and County of San Francisco should encourage all other jurisdictions, including other cities, states, and the federal government, to adopt similar positions.”

Ammoland News earlier provided the entire text of the San Francisco resolution. Adoption of that resolution brought stunning reactions from the Washington Post’s Harry Olsen and the L.A. Times’ senior editorial writer Michael McGough. While neither scribe seems too fond of NRA, they are definitely partial to the First Amendment, and significantly the complaint specifically refers to both commentaries, on Page 12. This technically puts both articles on the proverbial playing field.

McGough told his readers, “it’s not the business of a county board of supervisors to designate terror organizations.” He further wrote that the resolution “is particularly inappropriate because it is couched in language that could leave the impression that its declaration about a national issue actually has legal force.”

The WaPo’s Olsen was just as prickly, observing, “Liberals often wonder where conservatives get the notion that they are hated and despised…Wonder no more: Just look at the San Francisco Board of Supervisors’ resolution labeling the National Rifle Association a ‘domestic terrorist organization.’”

The lawsuit also mentions Jonathan Turley, a law professor at George Washington University, who wrote in The Hill, “The resolution is the very definition of demagoguery.” The complaint erroneously attributes an Olsen quote to Turley, which the professor corrected while acknowledging, “NRA correctly attributes my view that the resolution is an attack on first amendment rights of free speech and association.”

The NRA may be nobody’s favorite bunch where San Francisco politicians are concerned, but the 5-million-member association is still entitled to the same protections as any other group, which is what the Bill of Rights is really all about. All ten amendments in the Bill of Rights were written as restraints on government, a fact about which the Board of Supervisors may soon be reminded.

RELATED:

NRA & All Its Members Declared ‘Domestic Terrorists by San Francisco Board


About Dave Workman

Dave Workman

Dave Workman is a senior editor at TheGunMag.com and Liberty Park Press, author of multiple books on the Right to Keep & Bear Arms and formerly an NRA-certified firearms instructor.

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Ej harbet
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Ej harbet

I’d like to know where to go to add my name to the class action against these cretins?
Nothing would be better than to get a huge check from the city of San Francisco,I’d actually photograph it for my archives before deposit.

Happyjack
Member
Happyjack

I am not aware of a single instance of an NRA member being responsible for a mass shooting. Nearly all mass shooters have been identified as Democrats. I say it is time to ban Democrats…not guns!

Wild Bill
Member
Wild Bill

@Dave Workman, Terrific interview of Alan Gottlieb in the OCT issue of Guns magazine. I greatly enjoyed the “Make the Second Amendment Great Again” part.

KDad
Member
KDad

I think that as a longtime NRA member, I will file suit against the SFBOS for defamation. It would make for a great class action suit.

Get Out
Member
Get Out

IMOA, We better stop the bickering going on in our own ranks whether you are currently an NRA member or used to be. Anti-gunner obviously still fear the NRA or their mantra wouldn’t be they need to destroy it to get the gun control they want to inpose! What will your reation be when or if San Francisco County Board of Supervisors or another BOS determines that GOA, SAF, JPFO etc. is a ” domestic terrorist organization” too?

JPM
Member
JPM

First off does anyone here, other than the liberal trolls, really give a rat’s ass about anything that happens in or to San Francisco or the human scum that occupies that California cesspool? Here’s another prime example of LaPierre wasting members funds that if won, will garner NOTHING for the members or the 2nd Amendment fight, other than to allow LaPierre (and his minions) to strut around and continue to justify his continued criminal enterprise.

Laddyboy
Member
Laddyboy

@JPM; I disagree that the NRA should just SHUT UP and SIT DOWN! These BSFBMs have BROKEN Constitutional law. They MUST be held accountable. BESIDES, What the COMMUNIST/MUSLEM One World Government SYCOPHANTS push onto Americans in Kalifornia has historically been used to PUSH onto Americans ALL ACROSS America. This lawsuit is not a waste of money. The “members” should be INDIVIDUALLY HELD RESPONSIBLE to pay all costs of going to court for a FALSE LIE!

ConfusedForeignGirl
Member
ConfusedForeignGirl

…I live in San Francisco so I kinda care… also I wish they would actually do stuff here besides this nonsense which won’t change anything. How about instead, filing a lawsuit at the head of police who refuses to grant concealed gun permits to anyone except his close friends? I was robbed at gunpoint last year right outside my apartment but apparently that’s not reason enough for a ccl

KenW
Member
KenW

I read some of these NRA bashing posts and while just criticism they deserve, does the NRA really need to be called out for literally advocating for gun control. Back when Bill Clinton was POTUS the Democrats passed the Brady Crime Bill, which instituted a 5 day (actually a 7-9 day) waiting period. Several states had already done so. They banned certain features of certain guns, the so-called “assault weapons.” the writing was on the wall. Senator Feinstein almost had enough votes in the Senate to ban not just so-called “assault weapons” but all of our guns, and she was… Read more »

Alan1018
Member
Alan1018

The need to amend the suit to add defamation of the 5 million members.

Will
Member
Will

Alan,LaPierre didn’t give a shit about members before,why would he now ?

jmb1911
Member
jmb1911

A very well written article and information. On what basis or facts did the San Francisco County Board of Supervisors determine that the NRA is a ” domestic terrorist organization”? This isn’t mentioned . Yet the BOS wants vendors, and others not to do business with the NRA. Any vendor doing business with the Sn Francisco County Board of Supervisors should question them on this allegation. I remember approximately 10 years ago the owner of Barrett Arms, stopped doing business with a major city due to their position on gun control. In NJ our progressive Governor Phil “Mag Ban” Murphy… Read more »

Nanashi
Member
Nanashi

The NRA isn’t going to win this one if the city’s attorney is at all competent. They just need to show that the NRA’s president, representing the NRA, said gun control supporters were terrorists with no reprimand or retraction and combine it with ANY of the NRA’s pro-gun control activism and they win.

Get Out
Member
Get Out

@ Nanashi, No, North didn’t call them terrorists but actually said, “Activists pushing for stronger gun laws are engaged in “civil terrorism”

“The civil terrorism the NRA has faced, according to North’s interview with the Washington Examiner, includes having fake blood splashed on the Virginia home of an NRA official and personal “threats” aimed at NRA leaders.”

“They can do all the cyberwar against us – they’re doing it,” North said. “They can use the media against us – they are. They’ve gone after our bank accounts, our finances, our donors and obviously individual members,” North said. “It’s got to stop.”

Nanashi
Member
Nanashi

And someone engaged in terrorism is called a…

JMR
Member
JMR

NRA barely does anything to stop gun rights abuses in California, but when it involves them they sure were quick to act.

Will
Member
Will

Stop gun rights abuses ? The nra has been advocating for gun rights abuses. To hell with em !

Nanashi
Member
Nanashi

Never forget the Mulford Act!

Get Out
Member
Get Out

“The reference to the Black Panther Party probably refers to the Mulford Act enacted in 1967 under Ronald Reagan during his period as Governor of California. This act effectively restricted citizens from carrying guns in public and created one of the countries most strict gun control regulations. This was a direct reaction to the Black Panther Movement’s rise in California and in the 1960s, the NRA would not yet have been a hard-line advocate for gun ownership rights. In the 1980s Reagan changed his opinion on the subject. He would begin to actively encourage 2nd amendment rights to keep citizens… Read more »

Alan in NH
Member
Alan in NH

Join the discussion…As a Patron level member, I have also been very concerned about the shenanigans going on at the highest levels of the NRA. Absolutely disgraceful. However we would all be damn foolish not to stand behind them 100 percent when they actually attempt to do the job we expect them to do. Don’t allow the fascists to exploit the temporary disarray in our organization to their benefit. THEY are the enemy we need to focus on,

Racer x
Member
Racer x

Jr its the same thing in New York,the NRA wants our money but it seems it does nothing from stopping king Cuomo the second from stripping away our second amendment rights!

MICHAEL J
Member
MICHAEL J

Sorry, but this isn’t about the NRA brand, it’s about me and the millions of other Patriot members who these communists in San Francisco labeled as terrorists. The only way these vipers can be fought is in court. This is the NRA doing something in California.

Deplorable Bill
Member
Deplorable Bill

We, as in ALL of us, the gun owners of America, should file suit as well. How would the common man, a citizen do that? Their leadership has shown a propensity for legalizing what has been an abomination for the last 5,000 years. If they actually do know right from wrong they have a propensity to do what is wrong anyway. The cost of living there is to the point that the common cannot afford rent/housing and food at the same time. Maybe commiecalofornication is the new name for slavery. If the shoe fits… Maybe they will have an earthquake… Read more »