The National Rifle Association has filed suit against the city of San Francisco after the city voted to declare the gun rights group a “domestic terrorist” organization.
The lawsuit, filed in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, accuses city officials of violating the gun lobby’s free speech rights for political reasons and says the city is seeking to blacklist anyone associated with the NRA. It asks the court to step in “to instruct elected officials that freedom of speech means you cannot silence or punish those with whom you disagree.”
The suit follows the city’s Board of Supervisors vote last week that passed a resolution affirming the domestic terrorist designation and “contending the NRA spreads propaganda that seeks to deceive the public about the dangers of gun violence.” Board of Supervisors member Catherine Stefani drafted the resolution after a maniac shot up the Gilroy Garlic Festival in August.
“This action is an assault on all advocacy organizations across the country,” said William A. Brewer III, the NRA’s lawyer. “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.”
CEO Wayne LaPierre said the lawsuit “comes with a message to those who attack the NRA: We will never stop fighting for our law-abiding members and their constitutional freedoms,” according to the AP.
Supervisor Stefani said the suit was “a desperate move by a very desperate organization.”
The lawsuit also reveals the city’s true motive: “In the face of recent, similar blacklisting schemes,” the lawsuit explains, “financial institutions have expressed reluctance to provide bank accounts for disfavored political groups, and city contractors fear losing their livelihoods if they support or even work with the N.R.A.”