The NRA officially dropped their lawsuit against the City and County of San Francisco yesterday. The lawsuit was brought due to a resolution approved by the Board of Supervisors branding the NRA a “domestic terrorist organization”.
NOTICE IS HEREBY GIVEN that pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 41(a)(1)(i), Plaintiff the National Rifle Association of America voluntarily dismisses without prejudice the above-entitled action against all Defendants. This notice of dismissal is being filed with the Court before service by Defendants of either an answer or a motion for summary judgment.
San Francisco, in their reply to the original complaint, contended their resolution was a “statement of policy” and “non-binding”.
Mayor London Breed had already told city staff that the measure did not limit the city’s dealings with any vendors doing business with the NRA. Stefani said her resolution was a legitimate public denunciation with no binding consequences.
At the time Mayor Breed made her statement that the resolution would not impact dealings with vendors, NRA outside counsel William Brewer III indicated that the lawsuit would continue until the the resolution was formally revoked. As of yesterday, the resolution had not been revoked but nonetheless the case was dismissed.
Both sides are now claiming victory in the lawsuit.
“We’re pleased the NRA backed down on its frivolous lawsuit. This was a baseless attempt to silence San Francisco’s valid criticisms of the NRA and distract from the gun violence epidemic facing our country. San Francisco will never be intimidated by the NRA. If the NRA doesn’t want to be publicly condemned for its actions, it should stop sabotaging common sense gun safety regulations that would protect untold numbers of Americans every year, like universal background checks, an assault weapons ban, and restrictions on high-capacity magazines.”
The NRA and its attorney proclaimed victory in a multipart Twitter post:
Today the NRA withdrew its lawsuit in SF – and now celebrates the important victory it obtained on behalf of its members. As has been widely reported, after the Association challenged the unconstitutional resolution, the City beat a hasty retreat and backed down from its wildly illegal blacklisting scheme. The censors are on notice. The NRA will always fight for the Constitution, and will re-file if the City tries anything like this in the future.
So it appears that each side got a participation trophy allowing both sides to claim victory. The NRA got San Francisco to declare that the resolution was non-binding and San Francisco got the lawsuit dismissed without officially revoking the resolution.
I don’t think anyone can question that the NRA had to sue San Francisco in this case. However, I did find it interesting that the NRA didn’t use attorney Chuck Michel and his firm to handle the lawsuit. Michel and Associates has traditionally been the NRA’s go-to law firm for California related cases. Instead they used Las Vegas based Garman Turner Gordon as their attorney on the ground and Brewer, Attorneys and Counselors, as “of counsel”.