Facing NRA Lawsuit, San Francisco Says “Uncle”
Who knew that “domestic terrorists” have lawyers and a copy of the Bill of Rights?
It’s a sad day for America when it becomes necessary to employ a very expensive team of lawyers to explain to a government body (in this case, San Francisco’s Board of Supervisors) that the first two Amendments to the Constitution actually forbid them from blacklisting anyone with ties to the NRA from doing business with the city. However, the good news is that said very expensive lawsuit has resulted in San Fran Mayor London Breed publicly backing down from their egregious position on Second Amendment advocacy.
To recap, just about a month ago San Francisco Supervisor Catherine Stefani resolved:
“The National Rifle Association spreads propaganda that misinforms and aims to deceive the public about the dangers of gun violence,” the resolution states. “The National Rifle Association through its advocacy has armed those individuals who would and have committed acts of terrorism.”
The press release we’ve received from the NRA is below:
On September 3, 2019, the San Francisco Board of Supervisors, which is the legislative body for the City and County of San Francisco, unanimously approved a resolution that called for the City to investigate ties between its contractors and vendors and the NRA. The city declared the NRA was a “domestic terrorist organization.” Not surprisingly, the NRA sued.
On September 9, 2019, less than a week after the resolution was enacted, the NRA challenged it as government action adversely affecting its First Amendment rights. In its filing, the NRA called the resolution a “blacklisting” measure, and urged San Francisco’s federal court to “step in and instruct elected officials that freedom of speech means you cannot silence or punish those with whom you disagree.”
Late last week, rather than await “instruction” from a court, San Francisco Mayor London Breed backed down. In a formal memorandum to City officials, she declared that “no [municipal] department will take steps to restrict any contractor from doing business with the NRA or to restrict City contracting opportunities for any business that has any relationship with the NRA.”
“Through these actions and our public advocacy, we hope the message is now clear,” says NRA CEO and Executive Vice President Wayne LaPierre. “The NRA will always fight to protect our members and the constitutional freedoms in which they believe.”
The NRA is represented in its lawsuit by William A. Brewer III and Sarah Rogers of Brewer, Attorneys & Counselors, along with Garman Turner Gordon LLP.
“The memo serves as a clear concession and a well-deserved win for the First and Second Amendments of the United States Constitution,” says William A. Brewer III, partner at Brewer, Attorneys & Counselors and counsel for the NRA. “It is unfortunate that in today’s polarized times, some elected officials would rather silence opposing arguments than engage in good-faith debate. The NRA – America’s oldest civil rights organization – won’t stand for that.”
The NRA’s challenge to a similar ordinance in Los Angeles remains pending. Last month, the city’s motion to dismiss was denied in its entirety by federal district judge Stephen V. Wilson, who found that the NRA had stated a clear First Amendment claim.
Established in 1871, the National Rifle Association is America’s oldest civil rights and sportsmen’s group. More than five million members strong, NRA continues to uphold the Second Amendment and advocates enforcement of existing laws against violent offenders to reduce crime. The Association remains the nation’s leader in firearm education and training for law-abiding gun owners, law enforcement and the armed services. Follow the NRA on social at Facebook.com/NationalRifleAssociation and Twitter @NRA.
Does this mean that The Usual Suspects are going to stop this new tactic of theirs, formally blacklisting anyone with ties to an organization whose message they don’t like? In this writer’s estimation, yes it does–but all that means is that their next attempt won’t be quite so obvious and ham-handed. They’re fully aware that the NRA simply doesn’t have the resources to sue every government body that tries this sort of stunt, and they’re hoping to deal out a “death of a thousand cuts.” But rest assured…we’ll keep reporting on this situation as it develops!
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