The National Rifle Association (NRA) filed a lawsuit on Monday in federal court in San Fransisco fighting a September 3 resolution the city passed which declared the lobby group a domestic terrorism organization.
The San Fransisco Board of Supervisors unanimously passed the resolution, urging the City and County of San Francisco to “take every reasonable step to assess the financial and contractual relationships our vendors and contractors have with the NRA,” and encourage its businesses and entities to do the same.
“The National Rifle Association spreads propaganda that misinforms and aims to deceive the public about the dangers of gun violence,” the resolution states. “All countries have violent and hateful people, but only in America do we give them ready access to assault weapons and large-capacity magazines thanks, in large part, to the National Rifle Association’s influence.”
The NRA argues in its lawsuit that the resolution violates the gun lobby group’s free speech rights. Even though the resolution must still be signed by the San Fransisco mayor, the NRA argues that the damage has already been done for its chilling effect on speech.
“While it might be an acceptable exercise of the government’s power to condemn the NRA, or even lob undignified invective at millions of law-abiding gun owners, the government cannot apply its powers in a targeted, adverse manner against those with whom it disagrees—and the government certainly cannot do so in order to stifle or punish disfavored speech. Such conduct unambiguously violates the First Amendment, especially where, as here, it is not tied to any compelling, significant or legitimate government interest,” the complaint asserts.