The National Rifle Association is fighting back against the city of San Francisco after its municipal board declared the gun rights group was a “domestic terrorist organization” in a symbolic gesture.
The NRA is suing the city in the U.S District Court of Northern California. The Virginia-based group’s lawsuit accuses city officials of threatening or blackmailing anyone in the city who might feel inclined to become a member of or do business with the NRA. The suit accuses the city of instituting a de facto ban on the free speech of the NRA and its members in San Francisco.
William A. Brewer III, the NRA’s attorney in the potentially historic proceedings against the city of San Francisco, stated Monday that the municipal board’s actions were an “assault on all advocacy organizations across the country. 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 San Francisco Board of Supervisors is limited in what they can do to persecute lawful political advocacy groups by the First Amendment of the Constitution, a reality that forced the city supervisors to choose a purely symbolic measure with the hopes of punishing the NRA.
Still, declaring a gun rights group with a nearly 150-year old tradition of legal activism a “terrorist organization” is no laughing manner, and there’s certainly a case to be made for a defamation judgement against those who would make such a sensational claim.
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