The National Rifle Association (NRA) is taking the city of San Francisco to court over a recent resolution calling it a domestic terrorist entity and discouraging businesses from dealing with it.
The powerful gun lobbying organization, which has borne the brunt of liberal anger in the wake of mass shootings that have rattled the US over the past several years, has filed a complaint against the City and County of San Francisco and its supervisors after they unanimously passed a resolution effectively blacklisting government contractors who refuse to cut ties with the NRA.
The resolution, adopted on September 3, urges the government to “take every reasonable step to limit those entities who do business with the City and County of San Francisco from doing business with [the NRA].”
The strong-worded document says the NRA spreads “propaganda that misinforms and aims to deceive the public about the dangers of gun violence,” and promotes “extremist positions, in defiance of the views of a majority of its membership and the public” which makes it a “domestic terrorist organization.”
Calling the resolution “obviously unconstitutional,” the pro-gun-lobbying behemoth said its ultimate goal is to muffle the NRA’s voice in the ongoing gun control debate.
“This resolution does not try to hide its animus towards the NRA’s political speech, nor its animating purpose: to remove the NRA from the gun control debate.”
The resolution was introduced by Supervisor Catherine Stefani, who effectively declared a holy war on the organization. “It’s time to rid this country of the NRA,” she said in the run-up to the vote.
Stefani cited the shooting rampage at the Gilroy Garlic Festival in California last July as her inspiration for coming up with the initiative. That tragedy saw the gunman kill three people and injure 17 with a semi-automatic rifle before taking his own life.
The NRA argues that the resolution is a prime example of the government’s crackdown on freedom of speech, as it is “designed to discriminate against a lawful organization” because it “does not approve of their views or speech.”
The resolution still has to be signed or vetoed by San Francisco Mayor London Breed, who has the last say in the affair. Moreover, if the resolution is approved, it would not make much of a difference in terms of the law, as it’s not up to cities or states to define terrorism, which is a federal issue.
A sign that San Francisco supervisors might have gone too far in demonizing the NRA, which has become a universal scapegoat after the shootings, was the sudden support the organization received from mainstream US media, typically wary of endorsing the gun lobby, including the Washington Post and the Los Angeles Times.
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