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Lone Star Gun Rights Files a Lawsuit Against House Speaker Dennis Bonnen for Social Media Censorship

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A Texan grassroots gun rights organization, Lone Star Gun Rights, filed a lawsuit in Federal Court against Texas House Speaker Dennis Bonnen.

The lawsuit can be read here.

The organization claims that Bonnen, who represents House District 25 (Angleton/Lake Jackson), has muzzled critics on his public Facebook page in his official capacity as both the Representative of District 25 and as House Speaker. On this page, he constantly gives legislative updates to his followers.

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As BLP reported in April, Speaker Bonnen declared that HB 357, Texas’s Constitutional Carry bill, was “dead” after a grassroots activist, Chris McNutt of Texas Gun Rights, went on a peaceful block-walking campaign to raise awareness about the bill languishing in committee.

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On April 6th, the Speaker went on Facebook to state that a number of grassroots organizations “want anyone – including criminals – to be able to carry a gun without a license,” despite the fact that Constitutional Carry keeps the portion of Texas gun law intact which prohibits felons from carrying.

Bonnen doubled down on the Constitutional Carry misinformation when he went on the Chad Hasty Show and said that Constitutional Carry was “an issue that would allow a criminal the ability to carry a gun.”

Given that there is no official House Speaker Facebook page, all official updates from the Speaker’s Office are posted on his campaign Facebook page.  In turn, LSGR and their members left comments voicing their disapproval with the Speaker’s actions.

As a result, a good portion of LSGR members, including those who run the LSGR Facebook page, were banned from interacting on the Speaker’s page.  Due to the deletion of their comments, only one side of the argument will be seen by Bonnen’s 15,321 Facebook followers and other people who visit his page.

Lone Star Gun Rights is joined by two individual plaintiffs in their efforts to sue Texas House Speaker Dennis Bonnen in Federal Court for 1st and 14th amendment violations for silencing his critics in what higher Courts have declared to be a public forum in past decisions.

The suit filed aims to get an injunction against Bonnen to unban all Facebook users who have been banned at the moment. On top of that, it will seek to reinforce the precedent that an elected official cannot silence critics in a public forum.

The plaintiffs are not seeking punitive damages, however, they have plans to seek reimbursement of legal fees.

 

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Texas Political Establishment Attempts to Derail Shelley Luther’s Campaign

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The special election for Texas’ Senate District 30 is on pace to be one of the most heated races in the Lone Star State.

At a candidate forum on September 18, 2020, Shelley Luther, the Dallas salon owner who was jailed for opening her business in defiance of Governor Greg Abbott’s shutdown order, confronted outgoing State Senator Pat Fallon.

Fallon vacated his seat and is now backing a successor in State Representative Drew Springer.

“We don’t want somebody who’s going to be at odds with our Republican governor,” Fallon said September 18 at the Grayson County Republican Women’s Club.

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Fallon added:

I didn’t support some of the things that he has done about opening up. … So, he’s made some mistakes. He’s our Republican governor, the 80/20 rule … because you’re not going to get any bills passed unless the governor signs them.

“Let me make something clear. I am accountable to my fellow citizens in Senate District 30. Not our Governor,” Luther responded on September 19 on Facebook:

This is exactly what is wrong with Austin. Our politicians are more loyal to Abbott than us, even when they disagree with him.

I will work with Governor Abbott when he is fighting to protect the liberty of Texans, and I will oppose him when he pushes unilateral dictates that shut down our local businesses.

Fallon and Luther had a tense exchange, which was caught on video.

“You want me to go all in on this race?” Fallon questioned Luther. “I have been 5 percent in on this race. You want me to go all in on it, I’m welcome to.”

“This has become a straight-up fight between Abbott and the ‘Kumbaya’ Professional Political Class vs. the grassroots and people who remember what limited government and principles should look like,” opined conservative activist Mike Openshaw.

“Respectfully, being willing to be jailed for fighting over-reaching government shows principle; that counts for something, Patrick,” Openshaw continued.

Luther has recently received endorsements from conservative Collin County Judge Chris Hill and Young Conservatives of Texas. Springer, on the other hand, received an endorsement from the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, which asserted that Luther was going down a “far right” path.

A Republican is expected to carry the senate district, which may still require a runoff if the leading candidate does not get enough votes during the first round of the special election.

Election Day will be on September 29.

Luther is viewed as the truly conservative option and many believe she could help break the political status quo in Austin that has kept conservative legislation from ever being passed.

 

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