NRA sues San Francisco over 'domestic terrorist' designation

Nicholas Sakelaris
The lawsuit states the frivolous insult from San Francisco supervisors poses a constitutional threat to free speech. File Photo by Terry Schmitt/UPI
The lawsuit states the "frivolous insult" from San Francisco supervisors poses a constitutional threat to free speech. File Photo by Terry Schmitt/UPI | License Photo

Sept. 10 (UPI) -- The National Rifle Association has filed a lawsuit against the city of San Francisco, decrying a classification it placed on the gun-rights group as a "terrorist" organization.

The 23-page suit, filed in federal court Monday, accuses San Francisco leaders of blacklisting the NRA with the designation -- which it said "unabashedly targets the NRA's political speech" and attempts "remove" the group from the national gun control conversation.


San Francisco supervisors voted unanimously last week for a resolution to impose the designation and urged other governments to do the same. The measure requires the city to cut ties with all vendors and contractors who do business with the NRA, and city-involved businesses will be required to disclose any membership or financial dealings with the group.

"The United States is plagued by an epidemic of gun violence, including over 36,000 deaths, and 100,000 injuries each year," the three-page resolution states. "The gun homicide rate in the United States is 25 times higher than any other high-income country in the world.

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"The city and county of San Francisco [intend] to declare the National Rifle Association a domestic terrorist organization."


San Francisco Mayor London Breed hasn't signed the resolution, yet.

The lawsuit calls the designation a "frivolous insult," but said it poses a "non-frivolous" threat to constitutionally guaranteed free speech.

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"This 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," NRA CEO Wayne LaPierre said in a statement.

"While it might be an acceptable exercise of the government's power to condemn the NRA ... 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," plaintiffs attorney William Noall says in the suit.

"It's unfortunate the NRA would rather run to court than do something about the epidemic of gun violence in our country," San Francisco City Attorney spokesman John Cote replied. "The American people would be better served if the NRA stopped trying to get weapons of war into our communities and instead actually did something about gun safety."

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