First Amendment

Defending San Francisco's Anti-NRA Resolution, City Officials Say It Was Nothing but Meaningless Bluster

Although San Francisco's supervisors urged city officials to punish contractors with ties to this "domestic terrorist organization," they say they did not really mean it.

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Clarifying the significance of a resolution that absurdly condemned the National Rifle Association (NRA) as a "domestic terrorist organization," San Francisco Mayor London Breed argues that the measure will have no practical effect. Although she does not mention the First Amendment lawsuit provoked by the resolution, her reasoning seems to be the city's best defense against the argument that threatening to cut off contractors with ties to the NRA violates the right to freedom of speech.

The resolution, which the San Francisco Board of Supervisors unanimously approved on September 3, urges city officials to "assess the financial and contractual relationships our vendors and contractors have" with the NRA and "limit those entities who do business with the City and County of San Francisco from doing business with this domestic terrorist organization." Insofar as it affects contractors who are sympathetic to the NRA's Second Amendment advocacy, that policy seems like a clear violation of the principle established by the U.S. Supreme Court in the 1996 case Board of County Commissioners v. Umbehr. "The First Amendment protects independent contractors from the termination of at-will government contracts in retaliation for their exercise of the freedom of speech," the Court said in that decision.

But don't worry, Breed and City Attorney Dennis Herrera say in a memo dated September 23, two weeks after the NRA challenged the resolution in federal court. "The Resolution does not impose any obligations on City departments or members of the public," Breed and Herrera write. "Because the Resolution did not change City law, the City's contracting processes and policies have not changed and will not change as a result of the Resolution." No harm, no foul.

"In a Face-off With the N.R.A.," says the headline over a New York Times story about the memo, "San Francisco Blinks." John Coté, a spokesman for Herrera, rejected that characterization. The memo "just explains what has always been true —the resolution does not change the law," he told the Times. "If the N.R.A. thinks this is a win, it's only because their lawsuit completely distorts what the resolution actually does."

The NRA, for its part, is not dropping its lawsuit, which argues that even the threat of penalizing contractors for their ties to the organization has a chilling effect on constitutionally protected speech. The NRA also claims the policy described in the resolution would unconstitutionally punish the organization itself for exercising its freedom of speech.

City officials "wisely have attempted to pull back from what we alleged…was a clear violation of the association's First Amendment rights," NRA lawyer William A. Brewer III told the Times. "What we hope is that the Board of Supervisors will further mitigate the damage they've done" by rescinding the resolution or "walk[ing] away from it in some binding way."

Supervisor Catherine Stefani, who sponsored the resolution, also has emphasized its practical insignificance. "It's a resolution," she told the Times after the NRA filed its lawsuit. "It's not an ordinance. It's nonbinding." Her measure, in other words, was nothing more than meaningless bluster, and it should be viewed as such by the courts.

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83 responses to “Defending San Francisco's Anti-NRA Resolution, City Officials Say It Was Nothing but Meaningless Bluster

  1. Lefty gun grabbers always forget that the NRA is actually millions of Americans who have joined a lobbying group to protect their 2nd Amendment rights and for gun safety training.

    1. yeah, they seem to think the NRA is a front for gun manufacturers to funnel money to Congress to buy votes they wouldn’t cast otherwise. When what really happens is the NRA demonstrates that they have committed and widespread public support for certain positions, from people who vote with that issue in mind, and it would behoove Congress to not ignore that voting bloc.

      1. I suspect a lot of NRA members are single-issue voters, the way PP donors are for abortion.

        1. sometimes it is the only thing left to make a voting decision on

          1. “sometimes it is the only thing left to make a voting decision on”

            I live in SF. Outside of Starchild, there has not been one candidate in the past 20 years who has gotten my vote.
            Pretty simple: Vote no on the propositions, throw the rest of the ballot away.

            1. Check that:
              There was one civil engineer who ran for the school board on a platform calling for math education; he got my vote.

            2. see my reply to fat mike.

        2. This is something a lot of gun grabbers don’t understand, they do not take the issue half as seriously as gun owners do. Many of us will flat out refuse to vote for someone if they’re bad on gun rights, even if we like all their other policies. We’ll even get out to vote just to try to make sure the gun grabber loses even if we really dislike their opponent.

          Until gun grabbers vote like that they won’t get anywhere. Fortunately, they have to be woke about a dozen different issues at any point in time or risk being labeled a racist so they rarely achieve that kind of focus for more than a few days.

          1. FMDH that’s the problem not enough gun owners voting to conserve their and our rights and give gun grabbers an unopposed path to the legislature. EVERY gun owner needs to vote for ONE candidate for each state wide office. Governor, Lt Gov., attorney general and the two senators. They can be removed from office in just 2 election cycles.

          2. Taking away constitutional freedoms is the end of any chance of getting my vote.

          3. In my experience, gun grabbers have no respect for our other rights, and want to rule in an authoritarian society rather than lead a free people. (E.g., Kamala Harris doesn’t even respect the 13th Amendment – as the CA AG, she opposed releasing innocent prisoners because the state needed their labor.) I wouldn’t vote for them even if they reversed their position on guns.

  2. Well, when words mean nothing, you can say whatever you want.

  3. Thank god they’ve solved that homeless problem so they can…what’s that…there are still homeless and the streets are full of needles and shit? Nevermind.

    1. Bingo – they are incompetent to solve any of the real problems that impact SF citizens every day so they chase unicorns instead.

  4. Well, it was more important to review, discuss, and pass than the issues of homelessness, high housing costs, and crime, so it had better meant SOMETHING!

  5. No doubt about it, the NRA has been pro-Trump since 1871.
    The resolution was just kidding like a Mafia hood lighting a cigar and commenting in an offhand way “nice little city ya got here, be a shame if something happened to it.”

    1. Is that you Adam Schiff?

  6. “If the N.R.A. thinks this is a win, it’s only because their lawsuit completely distorts what the resolution actually does.” The NRA, for its part, is not dropping its lawsuit

    Good. Let’s hear in court “what the resolution actually does.”

  7. So in defending their action of doing it, they say they didn’t mean it.

    That’s pretty funny.

    1. and a waste of taxpayer time if they didn’t mean it.

    2. See, this is why you gotta include the /sarc tag in the written form, some times people don’t realize you’re making a joke. Although, to be fair, it was San Francisco so the NRA should have realized they weren’t serious.

  8. Instead of whining and sniveling about some organization that supports the Second Amendment, why don’t these brain deal socialist assholes clean up the streets of their fair city?
    There’s more shit on the streets of SF than in a Paris sewer.
    Progressive government at its finest.

    1. These fuckers can’t even solve their homeless problem (hint: libertarians wouldn’t like it, but it probably involves a lot of involuntary commitment to mental hospitals), and they’re going to tell people whom they can and can’t do business with.

      1. Private property is private, so anyone trespassing can be prosecuted and given a psych eval and treatment as a sentence.

        Public property can allow government to pass laws against shitting directly on the public property. Those people can also be arrested and given a psyche treatment as part of their sentence.

        There is nothing that conflicts with Libertarianism with this solution.

        People are so scared to call crazy people crazy and get them the help that they need.

        The problem would be with crazy people NOT breaking any law and refuse help. Libertarians would be against forcing those people to “get help” since they are not hurting anyone.

        1. I think people here might be a bit more leery of throwing folks into an institution because they’re different than the norm. It’s the same basic idea as free speech, yeah Nazis are horrible and no one wants to hear their bullshit, but if you decide they can’t speak, who gets to decide where that line is?

          I’m not disagreeing that the homeless are a problem, but I feel that Chipper Jones’s way would be better. Make it clear no one’s going to allow them to get away with it and force them either to respect the laws on the street, move away, or become a productive member of society. Unfucking Cali’s prices and housing wouldn’t hurt either.

          1. A psych eval and some medication would go a long way for many mentally ill people. You can force them via a jail sentence for violating property rights or one of the few public laws (in Libertopia). Then you release them from custody, like anyone else being released after their sentence.

            You cannot force people to take meds, so some will continue to take meds and some wont. If the ones that dont violate the law, do it all over again.

            Also government can help with the costs so families can get Conservatorships to get the crazy adults, the medical help they need.

            Additionally, stop feeding the homeless crazy people. If you feed them, they stick around. If you don’t feed them, they go somewhere else, die from starvation, or get their shit together. This would be the super Libertarian solution that shocks others because its so “heartless”. Keeping people in a perpetual state of homelessness via Socialism is NOT “heartless”, evidently.

      2. I think if you made housing more affordable (deregulate housing) in CA, you’d have a lot less homeless. Then you can focus your resources on the worst case scenarios that may involve involuntary commitment. From what I understand about only 25% of homeless are chronic homeless cases, although I am sure CA is probably north of that number.

        1. They just need to make clear that people aren’t allowed to set up and live on the street. I’ve worked in SF and the homeless there set up tents with everything needed for survival; get enough together and you have a little city with all sorts of…commerce. But they do it that way because they don’t want to deal with the drug and alcohol policies of the homeless shelters, which are ubiquitous. Tell them it’s the shelter or GTFO and the problem gets fixed pretty quickly.

          1. The 9th circuit ruled they can live on the street that’s why a bunch of homeless moved there.

        2. But if you made housing more affordable you’d get more homeowners, and the last thing San Franciscans want is more people moving to San Francisco. They liked the city just fine the way it was when they moved to the city and once they moved in, the city had just the exact right number of people. That’s pretty much true everywhere – give a newcomer to any city or neighborhood 10 years and he’s going to be bitching about all the newcomers moving into his city or neighborhood and fucking the place up.

        3. “I think if you made housing more affordable (deregulate housing) in CA, you’d have a lot less homeless.”

          “Rent control” certainly upped the rents.

      3. “These fuckers can’t even solve their homeless problem (hint: libertarians wouldn’t like it, but it probably involves a lot of involuntary commitment to mental hospitals)”

        Better idea: Quit paying them to show up here.

      4. The Libertarian answer is that there’s too much Public Property for these bums to infest. The government should not own any of this country, if it needs space, it can lease it. You cannot have homeless problems on private property.

    2. “”why don’t these brain deal socialist assholes clean up the streets of their fair city?””

      Because that would be work and they would not be following Sanders’s lead.

    3. Personally, I think the shit, tents, and needles shows the culture of the area.

      1. Commifornia is pretty shitty!

  9. San Francisco Mayor London Breed

    Fuckin’ LOL.

    1. London Breed – sounds like a good name for a terrier with a natural aversion to shitting on the sidewalk. Which is beautifully ironic.

  10. So, IOW, the SF Board of Supervisors are more into showing their woke bona fides than actually fixing all the problems they and predecessors policies created and still won’t remedy. Useless a tits on a boar.

  11. Her measure, in other words, was nothing more than meaningless bluster, and it should be viewed as such by the courts.

    You know who else is full of meaningless bluster that people take seriously?

    1. General Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna?

    2. Every used car salesman ever?

    3. Orson Welles?

    4. Greta Thunderbung?

  12. San Francisco is a bigger terrorist organization than the NRA by their own standards. They directly fund a paramilitary organization that murders more people every year than NRA members do. But agents of the state don’t count in their eyes.

  13. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_fallacies#Informal_fallacies

    Motte-and-bailey fallacy – the arguer conflates two positions with similar properties, one modest and easy to defend (the “motte”) and one much more controversial (the “bailey”). The arguer advances the controversial position, but when challenged, they insist that they are only advancing the more modest position.

    HMMMMMM

  14. Translation: we were serious, but we don’t want to face the consequences of our action.

  15. resolutions are treated as law if you want to keep doing business hence it may as well be a law. I argued that point before a county council on planning, they admitted it was true.

    1. And your still a free man?

      1. Ron must not have been in Kalifornistan.

  16. Empty gestures are so cherished by the gun control crowd.

    1. Thoughts and prayers to the Frisco city gubment

  17. Breaking: Bernie Sanders hospitalized for a heart attack. Pulls all ad money out of Iowa.

    1. Get well, Bernie, and learn to enjoy retirement rather than pushing yourself into an early grave.

      1. No word on Sanders transferring to a hospital in Havana.

        1. Perhaps he is going to Venezuela instead?

    2. From the New York Times:

      Mr. Sanders sent a message to his Twitter followers Wednesday afternoon saying that he was “feeling good” and “fortunate to have good health care.”

      “None of us know when a medical emergency might affect us,” he wrote. “And no one should fear going bankrupt if it occurs. Medicare for All!”

      What he didn’t include in his message is that under Medicare for All, the government would have denied the procedure due to his age.

      1. +10000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000

        1. + Bernie’s age?

    3. The Senate should expel Bernie Sanders if he doesn’t release his medical records immediately!

      Hahaha.

    4. Was Hillary in the vicinity when Bernie suddenly saw the bright white light and his dead relatives?

  18. You do not get to bluster your virtue signaling with the voice of government authority while libeling and threatening various people and organizations and pretend it meant nothing.

  19. Caption contest:

    “Hey! Get that thing outa my face!”

  20. Supervisor Catherine Stefani, who sponsored the resolution, also has emphasized its practical insignificance. “It’s a resolution,” she told the Times after the NRA filed its lawsuit. “It’s not an ordinance. It’s nonbinding.” Her measure, in other words, was nothing more than meaningless bluster, and it should be viewed as such by the courts.

    Only Trump can pull a Trump. You’d best leave it to the master.

  21. Reads to me like they were serious about it.

    FILE NO. 190841

    RESOLUTION NO.

    Supervisor Stefani

    BOARD OF SUPERVISORS

    [Declaring the National Rifle Association as a Domestic Terrorist Organization]

    Resolution declaring that the National Rifle Association is a domestic terrorist organization and urging other cities, states, and the federal government to do the same.

    WHEREAS, The United States is plagued by an epidemic of gun violence, including over 36,000 deaths, and 100,000 injuries each year, and

    WHEREAS, Every day approximately 100 Americans are killed with guns, and

    WHEREAS, There has been more than one mass shooting per day in the United States in 2019, and

    WHEREAS, The gun homicide rate in the United States is 25 times higher than any other high-income country in the world, and

    WHEREAS, On July 28, 2019, Gilroy, California became the 243rd community in the United States to be the victim of a mass shooting, and

    WHEREAS, Stephen Romero, age 6, Keyla Salazar, age 13, and Trevor Irby, age 25, were murdered in the senseless act of gun violence that day, and

    WHEREAS, There have been at least three mass shootings since the events in Gilroy, and the number continues to grow, and

    WHEREAS, Reported hate crimes have increased by double digits since 2015, and

    WHEREAS, There are over 393,000,000 guns in the United States, which exceeds the country’s current total population, and

    WHEREAS, Our elected representatives, including the President, have taken an oath swearing to “support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic.”

    WHEREAS, The United States Declaration of Independence declared that life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness are unalienable rights, and

    WHEREAS, The United States Constitution specifically delineates that the country was founded to establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, and promote the general welfare, and

    WHEREAS, The United States Department of Justice defines terrorist activity, in part, as, “The use of any explosive, firearm, or other weapon or dangerous device, with intent to endanger, directly or indirectly, the safety of one or more individuals or to cause substantial damage to property;” and

    WHEREAS, The United States Department of Justice further includes any individual or member of an organization commits an act that the actor knows, or reasonably should know, affords material support, including communications, funds, weapons, or training to any individual has committed or plans to commit a terrorist act, and

    WHEREAS, The National Rifle Association musters its considerable wealth and organizational strength to promote gun ownership and incite gun owners to acts of violence, and

    WHEREAS, The National Rifle Association spreads propaganda that misinforms and aims to deceive the public about the dangers of gun violence, and

    WHEREAS, The leadership of National Rifle Association promotes extremist positions, in defiance of the views of a majority of its membership and the public, and undermine the general welfare, and

    WHEREAS, The National Rifle Association through its advocacy has armed those individuals who would and have committed acts of terrorism; and

    WHEREAS, 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; now, therefore, be it

    RESOLVED, That the City and County of San Francisco intends to declare the National Rifle Association a domestic terrorist organization; and, be it

    FURTHER RESOLVED, That the City and County of San Francisco should take every reasonable step to assess the financial and contractual relationships our vendors and contractors have with this domestic terrorist organization; and, be it

    FURTHER RESOLVED, That the City and County of San Francisco should take every reasonable step to limit those entities who do business with the City and County of San Francisco from doing business with this domestic terrorist organization; and be it

    FURTHER RESOLVED, That the City and County of San Francisco should encourage all other jurisdictions, including other cities, states, and the federal government, to adopt similar positions.

    1. “WHEREAS, There are over 393,000,000 guns in the United States, which exceeds the country’s current total population..’

      Not enough. Everyone go out and by some more.

      1. “WHEREAS, There are over 393,000,000,000,000,000 guns in the United States, which exceeds the current total mass of the entire planet..’

        …would be just as relevant. 2nd Amendment, bitches!

    2. The United States Department of Justice defines terrorist activity, in part, as, “The use of any explosive, firearm, or other weapon or dangerous device, with intent to endanger, directly or indirectly, the safety of one or more individuals or to cause substantial damage to property;”

      Sounds like a great argument to declare every gang in the country a terrorist organization.

      1. Under “other weapon”, can we include SF regulations?
        Because they surely endanger directly AND indirectly, the safety of every legal resident in their jurisdiction.

    3. FURTHER RESOLVED, That the City and County of San Francisco should take every reasonable step to limit those entities who do business with the City and County of San Francisco from doing business with this domestic terrorist organization;
      The language here is straightforward and unambiguous. While it may not be binding on the city and county, it is clearly intimidating to any contractor wishing to do business with them. Hard to believe any federal court would let this shit slide. On the other hand I’m kinda hoping the NRA loses in the district court and the 9th so these assholes have to defend it at SCOTUS.

      1. In a way I hope the 9th has to step in and make a decision that will openly defy the U.S. Constitution. Doing so will enable SCOTUS or other parties to impeach the entire 9th court for ruling on cases where they have no jurisdiction. Given that President Trump has appointed a few more conservative justices there may be enough judges on that court to make it adhere to the Constitution.

  22. West Coast Detroit in the making.

  23. She can always use the Kim Foxx explanation, We were speaking colloquially not legally.

  24. I am hopeful that as the gruesome newsomes attempt to impair free speech and association to inhibit voter access to candidates not meeting HIS approval being defeated will give SCOTUS the opportunity to censure California democrat socialists for violating the Constitution of the United States.

  25. CITY LAWYER: You did *what?*

    MAYOR: Denounced the NRA as terrorists…why are you looking at me like that, can’t you defend that in court?

    LAWYER: Yes, but you’ll have to do me a favor.

    MAYOR: What?

    LAWYER: Say you were joking. Otherwise they’ll be able to kick our ass in court.

    MAYOR: But we weren’t –

    LAWYER: La, la, la, I don’t want to hear it.

    MAYOR: We were joking, then.

    LAWYER: Just as I thought, thank you for the help.

  26. By definition aren’t San Francisco’s politicos terrorists? My understanding is that a terrorist uses terror in order to coerce a preferred outcome. Doesn’t invoking terrorism induce terror? When the same is used to coerce a populous into their preferred political outcome, is that not terrorism?

    1. No, that’s what a freedom fighter is. Just look at who is wearing the Che Guevara shirts.

      1. Remembering that Guevara was a terrorist, concentration camp commander, torturer, and mass murderer. They might as well wear Himmler t-shirts.

  27. When, at long last, will California finally sink into the Pacific?

  28. “Will no one rid me of this troublesome priest!”

    King Henry II knew exactly what his loyal knights would do.

    Barack Obama joked about having his opponents audited. Lois Lerner and the IRS knew what he wanted.

    So does the SF bureaucracy.

  29. “WHEREAS, The United States Constitution specifically delineates that the country was founded to establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, and promote the general welfare, ”

    Shouldn’t San Francisco consider cleaning the streets of human waste and biohazards a more meaningful activity to promote the general welfare of City residents? Of course, that requires effort, unlike moral preening.

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