The National Foundation of Gun Rights Threatens Lawsuit if South Carolina General Assembly Passes “Gag Act”

On October 4, 2021 the National Foundation for Gun Rights and the law firm Dhillon Law Group, Inc. told the South Carolina Senate that if they approve Senate Bill 174, also known as the Gag act, the Foundation will move forward with a lawsuit as the law represents an infringement on various constitutional liberties. 

“The Gag Act is a blatant violation of the rights enshrined in the First Amendment, and if the South Carolina Senate thinks they can get away with stripping the right to free speech and privacy away from ordinary citizens who join political groups, they better be prepared to face us in court,” declared Dudley Brown, Executive Director of the National Foundation for Gun Rights. 

If the Gag Act becomes law, organizations like the National Association for Gun Rights, Palmetto Gun Rights, and other grassroots and citizen organizations would be compelled to disclose their members’ private information, in addition to restricting citizen lobbying throughout state elections.

The complaint spelled out:

Senate Bill 174 (S 174) would flagrantly violate the constitutional rights of those who dare to speak to the public and associate with each other regarding their country’s and South Carolina’s pressing political challenges. We urge the Senate to reject this bill, which defies Supreme Court precedent rejecting unnecessary, invasive, vague, overbroad, and burdensome political disclosure requirements that unlawfully chill First Amendment freedoms of speech and association. Specifically, S 174 is a multi-pronged assault on South Carolinians’ constitutional rights and must be rejected. 

NAGR does have an interest in defending the First Amendment, Second Amendment, and privacy rights of its members, in addition to protecting the privacy rights of its state affiliate, Palmetto Gun Rights.

The letter ends with the following statement:

If SB 174 is enacted, we have been authorized to file a lawsuit pursuant to 42 U.S.C. §1983 for the deprivation of constitutional rights. Once we prevail in protecting those rights, we will seek our reasonable attorney fees under 42 U.S.C. §1988(b). We thereby strongly encourage you to reconsider moving forward with the proposed legislation.

A copy of the letter that NFGR sent to South Carolina Senate leadership can be found here:

NFGR shows the importance of having a legal arm when getting involved in politics. Given how the forces of despotism operate, a multi-pronged approach is required to stave them off. NAGR and all of its arms and appendages understand this, which sets it apart from the rest of its competition.

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