U.S.A. –-(Ammoland.com)- Even when it seems to be in a weakened situation, 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 really hard.
As a result, when the San Francisco Board of Supervisors (BOS) lately 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 created in their complaint raise robust points that could carry the day, along with the truth that President Donald Trump has been quietly filling federal court vacancies—including these in the liberal Ninth Circuit—with conservative judges. This week, the president’s court appointments hit a new record, according to the Washington Instances. The Senate confirmed his 150th nominee, a truth that has alarmed liberal groups. Seven of these appointments have been to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco.
Add to that, the NRA is finding some intriguing help 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 Instances and Washington Post each have accused the Board of Supervisors of grossly overstepping its authority.
The court complaint pulls no punches. For instance, on Web page 10, the lawsuit notes, “The Resolution was authored by Supervisor Catherine Stefani, whose public presence centers about 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 workplace to suppress or retaliate against the NRA’s workout of its Initial Amendment rights.”
In a footnote on that web page, NRA attorneys added, “Stefani’s site describes her as ‘a City Hall veteran, gun violence prevention activist and former prosecutor,’ and notes that she serves as a ‘spokesperson’ for a number of anti-gun advocacy groups whose raison d’être is to oppose the NRA. See https://sfbos.org/supervisor-stefani-district-two. Stefani seems to retain an active Twitter feed, which seldom discusses the broader welfare of the City of San Francisco but includes copious invective against the NRA and gun owners.”
On the subsequent web 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 additional to deny small business to these vendors and contractors unless they cease their relationships with the NRA.”
This argument is vital, as explained on Web page 14 of the complaint, which states emphatically:
“While it may be an acceptable workout of the government’s energy to condemn the NRA, or even lob undignified invective at millions of law-abiding gun owners, the government can not apply its powers in a targeted, adverse manner against these with whom it disagrees—and the government definitely can not do so in order to stifle or punish disfavored speech. Such conduct unambiguously violates the Initial Amendment, specifically exactly where, as right here, it is not tied to any compelling, considerable or genuine government interest.”
Even a liberal federal court judge will have to think about this allegation seriously, and liberal courts—which may well or may well not be keen on the Second Amendment—are traditionally large on Initial Amendment problems.
The 23-web page lawsuit is an intriguing study, and it also alleges on Web page 14
“The Resolution intentionally violates the Initial Amendment speech and association rights of the NRA and its members. Defendants’ conduct would chill a particular person of ordinary firmness from continuing to speak against gun manage, or from associating expressively or commercially with the NRA these ongoing constitutional violations constitute irreparable injuries.”
It gets worse for the BOS in the subsequent paragraph, as NRA attorneys assert, “Defendants’ actions additional try 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 drop all government contracts.”
The proverbial “smoking gun” seems to be in the final 3 paragraphs of the actual resolution, exactly where it is:
“FURTHER RESOLVED, That the City and County of San Francisco should really take each and every affordable step to assess the monetary 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 really take each and every affordable step to limit these entities who do small business with the City and County of San Francisco from carrying out small business with this domestic terrorist organization and be it
“FURTHER RESOLVED, That the City and County of San Francisco should really encourage all other jurisdictions, like other cities, states, and the federal government, to adopt related positions.”
Ammoland News earlier supplied the complete text of the San Francisco resolution. Adoption of that resolution brought gorgeous reactions from the Washington Post’s Harry Olsen and the L.A. Times’ senior editorial writer Michael McGough. Although neither scribe appears as well fond of NRA, they are surely partial to the Initial Amendment, and drastically the complaint especially refers to each commentaries, on Web page 12. This technically puts each articles on the proverbial playing field.
McGough told his readers, “it’s not the small business of a county board of supervisors to designate terror organizations.” He additional wrote that the resolution “is specifically inappropriate simply because it is couched in language that could leave the impression that its declaration about a national situation really has legal force.”
The WaPo’s Olsen was just as prickly, observing, “Liberals frequently wonder exactly where conservatives get the notion that they are hated and despised…Wonder no far more: Just appear 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 incredibly definition of demagoguery.” The complaint erroneously attributes an Olsen quote to Turley, which the professor corrected although acknowledging, “NRA appropriately attributes my view that the resolution is an attack on initially amendment rights of cost-free speech and association.”
The NRA may well be nobody’s favored bunch exactly where San Francisco politicians are concerned, but the five-million-member association is nevertheless entitled to the identical protections as any other group, which is what the Bill of Rights is actually all about. All ten amendments in the Bill of Rights have been written as restraints on government, a truth about which the Board of Supervisors may well quickly be reminded.
NRA & All Its Members Declared ‘Domestic Terrorists by San Francisco Board
About Dave Workman
Dave Workman is a senior editor at TheGunMag.com and Liberty Park Press, author of a number of books on the Proper to Retain & Bear Arms and formerly an NRA-certified firearms instructor.