Tennessee gag act

Legal Warning Sent to TN General Assembly over Gag Act

Tennessee gag act

The Tennessee General Assembly is in the process of passing an anti-free speech bill, and the National Foundation for Gun Rights is preparing to take legal action should it become law.

Click to read the legal warning we just sent the Tennessee legislative leadership >>

Under SB1005 (which just passed the Senate this morning), 501(c)4 issue-advocacy nonprofits – like the National Association for Gun Rights – cannot so much as mention a candidate or use his picture within two months of an election or primary without having to disclose their donors to the Tennessee government.

Here’s the language that passed the Senate this morning:

(b) Notwithstanding another law to the contrary, an organization that is tax exempt under United States Internal Revenue Service Code § 501(c)(4), (5), or (6) (26 U.S.C. § 501(c)(4), (5), or (6)) is required to report expenditures, in accordance with § 2-10-105(c)(1) and (h) and file an appointment of treasurer form if:

(1) The organization expends an aggregate total of at least five thousand dollars ($5,000) in organizational funds, moneys, or credits for communications that expressly contain the name or visually depict the likeness of a state or local candidate in a primary or general election; and

(2) Such expenditures or communications occur within sixty (60) calendar days immediately preceding a primary or general election in which the named or visually depicted candidate appears on the ballot.

While the language of the amendment only specifically mentions having to report spending – which is certainly bad enough – the code section referenced (highlighted above) requires reporting of both spending and donations.

In summary? This language is a clever way to require organizations like NAGR to report their donors or cease operating in Tennessee for the two months preceding a primary or general election.

This defies U.S. Supreme Court precedent in both Buckley v. Valeo (1974) and AFPF v. Bonta – the Supreme Court’s most recent free speech ruling in a case we backed just last year.

As we said in the legal warning letter we just sent the Tennessee legislative leadership:

While unconstitutionally burdening the associational rights of Tennesseans, this language is not narrowly tailored to achieve any valid state interest. It blatantly ignores the guiding precedent of Buckley v. Valeo, 424 U.S. 1 (1974), in so far as it broadly deems non-election-related speech as election-influencing expenditures subject to reporting… The direct result would be the suppression of Tennesseans’ free speech and healthy engagement in the political process – precisely what the Founders designed the First Amendment to protect.

The National Association for Gun Rights absolutely will not expose our donors to harassment, intimidation, or political retaliation by disclosing their identities to either state government officials or to cancel-culture society, and we stand ready to take Tennessee to court to preserve our donors’ privacy and the right of Tennesseans to engage in the political process without threat of retaliation.

If you would like to contribute to our civil litigation fund to help us fight for your First and Second Amendment rights in the courts, click here.

San Jose city hall -Photo credit: Daderot

LAWSUIT AGAINST SAN JOSE, CA’S GUN OWNERSHIP TAX

San Jose city hall
San Jose city hall. Photo credit: Daderot

You probably saw the news coverage of this — the gun grabbers in San Jose want to make gun owners pay a gun ownership tax.

In other words, they want to tax law-abiding gun owners simply for exercising their Second Amendment rights.

This is just as unthinkable as imposing a “free speech tax” or a “church attendance tax.”

But San Jose’s city council voted UNANIMOUSLY last summer to draft an ordinance that does just that.

They initially backed off and tabled the ordinance after our legal arm – the National Foundation for Gun Rights — sent a cease-and-desist letter threatening to sue them if they passed it.

But on January 25th, 2022, the San Jose city council voted to impose the “gun ownership tax.”

Immediately after the vote, we filed a lawsuit against them to stop this unconstitutional ordinance in its tracks (click here to read it).

This isn’t just about San Jose – or even California.

There is a whole coalition of Bloomberg “Mayors Against Illegal Guns” in cities all across America just waiting to implement this blatantly unconstitutional attack on gun rights if it works in San Jose.

If gun grabbers get away with taxing the right to own a gun, every left-leaning local government across the country will quickly follow.

This will be an expensive, drawn-out legal battle.

Hiring the best lawyers to put the kibosh on this progressive anti-gun nonsense means we’ll be racking up the legal bills quickly.

But we can’t afford not to. To stop it, we have to stop it now.

 So please consider donating to help us fund this lawsuit.

National Foundation for Gun Rights press release

NFGR demands that Florida sheriff restart concealed weapons permit fingerprinting

National Foundation for Gun Rights press release

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: January 5, 2022

Contact: NFGR Press Room
Tel. 877-405-4570
Email: pressdept@gunrightsfoundation.org

National Foundation for Gun Rights demands Sheriff Lemma restart Concealed Weapons Permit fingerprinting

Loveland, CO – The National Foundation for Gun Rights is demanding that Sheriff Dennis Lemma of Seminole County, FL, immediately reinstate fingerprinting services for concealed weapon permit applications.

On December 28, 2021, The Seminole County Sheriff’s Office announced that they were suspending public fingerprinting services indefinitely due to “the recent surge of COVID-19.” As fingerprinting services are a required part of obtaining a license to carry, this is a direct infringement on the public right to bear arms.

“This is merely an excuse to trample on the Second Amendment rights of Seminole County citizens,” said Dudley Brown, president of the National Foundation for Gun Rights and the National Association for Gun Rights. “Nothing in the U.S. Constitution or Florida’s Constitution and laws allow a local sheriff to indefinitely suspend a citizen’s right to bear arms in public. Sheriff Lemma needs to immediately reinstate the required services for the issuance of carry permits, or prepare to face us in court.”

Hannah Hill, NFGR’s policy director, added, “By indefinitely suspending fingerprinting services, Sheriff Lemma joins the ranks of fascist politicians across the country who gleefully see the pandemic as an opportunity to trample the inalienable rights enshrined in our U.S. Constitution. Today, we put the good sheriff on notice that he doesn’t get to cancel the Bill of Rights in his county – and we are prepared to argue that in court if necessary.”

If Sheriff Lemma does not immediately reinstate fingerprinting services for concealed weapons permit applications, the National Foundation for Gun Rights will be exploring legal action.

To read the full cease-and-desist letter, click here: https://gunrightsfoundation.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/01/NFGR-SeminoleSheriff-CeaseDesist-Letter.pdf

The National Foundation for Gun Rights is a 501(c)(3) organization that exists to expand pro-gun precedents and defend gun owners in the courts.

The National Foundation for Gun Rights is a 501(c)(3) organization that exists to expand pro-gun precedents and defend gun owners in the courts.

###

Gov. Gavin Newsom

National Foundation for Gun Rights sends Cease and Desist letter to Gov. Newsom

National Foundation for Gun Rights press release

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: December 15, 2021

Contact: NFGR Press Room
Tel. 877-405-4570
Email: pressdept@gunrightsfoundation.org

National Foundation for Gun Rights sends Cease and Desist letter to Gov. Newsom

Loveland, CO – The National Foundation for Gun Rights is demanding that California Governor Gavin Newsom and Attorney General Rob Bonta back down from their new legislative proposal which is designed to nullify the Second Amendment in California, and to create an unconstitutional bounty system to entrap gun owners.  

On December 11th, 2021, Gov. Newsom issued an official statement explaining that he would direct the Attorney General and Legislature to draft and pass legislation allowing private citizens to sue California business owners (and individuals) who make or sell homemade firearms and semi-automatic rifles.

“In typical socialist fashion, Gavin Newsom and his anti-gun pals in the California Legislature are looking to further restrict the Second Amendment rights of law-abiding Californians by creating this preposterous bounty system for so-called ‘illegal’ firearms. This is clearly an attempt to dismantle the  Second Amendment once and for all in California,” said Dudley Brown, Executive Director for the National Foundation for Gun Rights.

Under the proposed law, Californians could seek at least $10,000 in damages against anyone who manufactures, sells, or distributes firearms which Newsom and the Legislature deem “illegal” to own.  

In response, the National Foundation for Gun Rights has sent a cease-and-desist letter to Newsom and the Attorney General. The full text of the cease and desist letter may be found here: https://gunrightsfoundation.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/12/Signed-cease-and-desist-letter.pdf

“While cities like San Francisco and Los Angeles are ravaged by violent crime and lawless assailants physically destroying private businesses and murdering innocent Californians, Newsom is focused on passing a law which will only further harm the people he’s supposed to help protect.” said Brown.  

The National Foundation for Gun Rights is exploring all legal options to oppose imposition of any California legislation which would dismantle a constitutionally protected right, and harm law-abiding businesses engaged in selling and manufacturing firearms.

“This is exactly why the National Foundation for Gun Rights exists – to stand up to anti-gun bullies like Newsom. We look forward to fighting back against such a ridiculous law,” concluded Brown.

The National Foundation for Gun Rights is a 501(c)(3) organization that exists to expand pro-gun precedents and defend gun owners in the courts.

###

Kyle Rittenhouse thanks the National Foundation for Gun Rights

Kyle Rittenhouse: “Thank you for all the support”

Kyle Rittenhouse thanks National Foundation for Gun Rights

We recently had the privilege of speaking with Kyle Rittenhouse on the phone. He wanted to express his gratitude for all the assistance and support the National Foundation for Gun Rights has given him, and he asked us to pass a message on to our members who made it all possible:

“Thank you [to National Foundation for Gun Rights supporters] for all the support you have given from day one, and the generous donations to help not just me but my entire team and family. Without your generous support, we could not have gotten so far or beaten the charges against me.”

– Kyle Rittenhouse

The National Foundation for Gun Rights was the only Second Amendment organization to provide support and assistance to Kyle, standing by him from day one – even when the woke mob made it highly unpopular and even risky to do so.

Immediately after Kyle’s arrest, NFGR raised and sent him a $51,000 check to help support his family during their crisis.

And during the course of the trial – before the verdict was announced – NFGR raised another $25,000 to further assist Kyle regardless of the outcome of the trial.

Dudley Brown signs check for Kyle Rittenhouse
NFGR Executive Director signs a $25,000 check for Kyle Rittenhouse

This is due entirely to our members — pro-gun patriots who don’t care what kind of propaganda-narrative the anti-gun media is spinning.

We were all thrilled to hear the jury’s “not guilty” verdict on all charges, resulting in Kyle’s complete acquittal!

It was the right to self-defense itself that was on trial in Kenosha, WI, and the jury declared what we all know to be true: When you’re under attack from a mob bent on destroying you, you have EVERY right to defend yourself!

The right to defend yourself from attack is one of the bedrock principles of the American Republic – and that’s why the Left is so determined to obliterate it.

The National Foundation for Gun Rights exists to bring a no-compromise defense of the Second Amendment in the courts, and to stand behind law-abiding Americans unjustly targeted for exercising that right.

National Foundation for Gun Rights press release

NFGR joins Rocky Mountain Gun Owners in targeting illegal gun registry

National Foundation for Gun Rights press release

The National Foundation for Gun Rights is partnering with sister organization, Rocky Mountain Gun Owners, to target an illegal gun registry in Douglas County, Colorado.

See RMGO’s press release below:

Rocky Mountain Gun Owners and Allied Partners Finds Illegal Gun Registry in Douglas County

Wednesday, December 1, 2021

DENVER, CO – This morning, Rocky Mountain Gun Owners [RMGO] and the National Foundation for Gun Rights [NFGR] were given credible information that Douglas County Sheriff Tony Spurlock has illegally collected and housed the data of gun owners, in direct violation of C.R.S. § 29-11.7-102.

RMGO and NFGR joined with a Douglas County resident to send Sheriff Spurlock a letter to demand him to preserve the evidence while they discuss the next steps with their attorneys.

“Sheriff Spurlock has a long history of supporting gun control legislation,” said Taylor Rhodes, Executive Director of Rocky Mountain Gun Owners. “Spurlock’s illegal gun owner database is in direct violation of Colorado’s law.”

Enacted in 2003, C.R.S. § 29-11.7-102 gives specific guidelines prohibiting local governments, including law enforcement, from maintaining a list or database that includes persons who purchased or exchanged firearms or persons who transfer firearms from a federally licensed firearms dealer.

“After looking over the evidence, it is apparent this is a clear violation of C.R.S. § 29-11.7-102,” said Taylor. “RMGO will work tirelessly to make sure these records are destroyed and those responsible are held accountable.”

Rocky Mountain Gun Owners is a 501(c)(4) organization headquartered in Loveland, Colorado, with a mission to hold politicians accountable and achieve maximum liberty for an individual to defend themselves, their family, and their property without having to ask the government for permission to do so. Since its founding, RMGO has led the fight against anti-gun politicians with the support of 200,000 members and grassroots activists statewide.

###

Rittenhouse prosecutors

Rittenhouse trial: Prosecutor’s star witness confirms what we knew all along – it was self-defense

Rittenhouse prosecutors
The prosecutors react to their star witness’ confirmation that Kyle acted in self-defense.

On Monday, the world heard Gaige Grosskreutz, the one remaining “victim” of the Rittenhouse shooting, testify under oath that Kyle did not fire until Gaige charged him with a gun pointed straight at him.

It was a remarkable moment. And the reactions underscored the impact of that testimony, with Kyle wiping tears, the prosecutor dropping his head into his hand, and Twitter exploding with disbelief.

But Gaige had simply repeated a fact that anyone who had done the most basic amount of research already knew. The Rittenhouse shooting is unusual in the sheer amount of video footage available to the public – almost from day one. 

And from day one, it was clearly a simple story of self-defense.

For that reason, the National Foundation for Gun Rights came to Kyle’s assistance. NFGR exists to defend gun rights and gun owners in the courts, and it was clear that Kyle needed help.

But, the Second Amendment doesn’t protect aggressors, only cases of legitimate self-defense. So before stepping in to help Kyle, we did our due diligence.

Our legal analysis team at the National Foundation for Gun Rights watched the available videos and read news story after news story, painstakingly piecing together exactly what happened that night.

And we reached the same conclusion anyone who watched the evidence with an open mind reached: this was self-defense, at a time when self-defense wasn’t fashionable or safe.

Because Kyle unwittingly became the symbol of standing up to rioters hell-bent on destruction – and frankly, because he had the audacity to fight back instead of letting them attack him at will – he’s been the target of the woke mob ever since.

The Kenosha shootings were the culmination of months of left-wing rioting and unrest, while police and politicians were either unwilling or terrified to check the rabid wave of destruction.

Meanwhile, ordinary Americans watched in disbelief, silently vowing that if the riots came to their town, they wouldn’t sit back and watch in horror as their businesses went up in flames at the hands of Marxist protesters. 

When we put out a call to help Kyle prepare for his day in court, those Americans – who we are proud to call our members – sprang into action and donated over $50,000 for Kyle’s legal defense and the assistance of his family.

National Foundation for Gun Rights donates to Kyle Rittenhouse's legal defense
NFGR Executive Director Dudley Brown signs a check for Kyle Rittenhouse’s family.

This was not a popular thing to do. Anyone who stood with Kyle back then caught some of the vitriol aimed at him. In addition to receiving plenty of profanity-laced hate messages, we were threatened more than once with deplatforming by Big Tech.

Kyle had become the unwitting symbol of the peace-loving Americans who believe in protecting life and property with the Second Amendment at their back, and for that, the left was determined to destroy him.

Over the last year, the leftist media (assisted by the Kenosha County Prosecutor) carefully cultivated a picture of a reckless, hate-filled teenage vigilante, a white supremacist there to spread violence.

That’s all well and good, as long as you listen to the media and not the evidence.

Or until the prosecution’s star witness has an awkward moment of truth on the stand.

The Second Amendment is there so that you don’t have to lie helpless on the street while the Anthony Hubers of the world batter you with a skateboard, and the Gaige Grosskreutzes charge at you with illegally possessed guns.

That’s what this case is about, and we were the only gun rights group in the nation who listened to the available evidence and had the courage to stand with Kyle from day one in the face of the woke mob.

A face that now, thanks to the witness testimony in court, is dripping with egg.

National Foundation for Gun Rights

WIN: Spearfish repeals concealed carry ban!

In response to a legal warning from the National Foundation for Gun Rights, the City of Spearfish, SD, just repealed an illegal ordinance banning concealed carry in their town!

Since at least 1982, the City of Spearfish has banned the concealed carrying of firearms within the city limits, despite South Dakota’s 1983 preemption law, which specifically prevents cities and localities from passing and enforcing local-level gun control.

This was brought to our attention by a Spearfish resident, who shared that local citizens were concerned about this local ban and how it affected their ability to bear arms in a Constitutional Carry state.

Our Executive Director, Dudley Brown, is originally from Spearfish, and remarked:

“All local level gun bans are horrendous, but to see this in my own hometown, in a state which has a rich history of gun rights and passed Constitutional Carry into law a few years ago, is especially heinous. The current city council is duty bound to remove these outdated and illegal prohibitions on a constitutional right.”

Dudley sent the City Council a letter pointing out the illegal nature of the concealed carry ban, and calling on the council to repeal it immediately or face us in court.

At their very next meeting, the Spearfish City Council gave first reading to a repeal ordinance!

Since then, the repeal ordinance has received second (and final) reading and been published in the local newspaper as required by law.

It is set to go into effect November 26, 2021, and Spearfish residents will be free to exercise their Second Amendment rights free of any threat of local prosecution.

The full text of NFGR’s legal warning letter may be found here: GunRightsFoundation.org/Spearfish-Letter.

US Supreme Court rules to protect free speech

Supreme Court hears oral arguments in NYSRPA v. Bruen

Yesterday, the Supreme Court heard oral arguments in New York State Rifle & Pistol Association v. Bruen, the first major gun case the Supreme Court has taken in over ten years.

This case challenges New York’s restrictive concealed carry law, which bans ordinary citizens from carrying a firearm unless they can show “good cause” – and the New York courts have said a desire for self-defense isn’t good enough.

So the question before the high court is this: Does the Second Amendment protect the right to BEAR arms as well as to CARRY them?

The answer is an unequivocal YES, as the National Foundation for Gun Rights legal team told the Supreme Court in a hard-hitting amicus brief filed back in July (click to read it).

What happened in oral arguments?

The good news is that a number of the Justices asked pointed, even scathing questions that highlighted the fact that gun rights are protected by the Constitution.

Even Chief Justice John Roberts (widely regarded as the weakest link on the Court for gun owners) actually sounded pro-gun with quotes like this:

“[T]he idea that you need a license to exercise the right [to bear arms], I think, is unusual in the context of the Bill of Rights.”

The Biden administration and New York’s legal counsel teamed up to defend New York’s carry regime, doing their level best to spin the Supreme Court into thinking it’s constitutional to arbitrarily deny law-abiding citizens the right to carry firearms.

At one point, Justice Alito caught New York’s legal team distorting history in an attempt to shore up their argument for gun control:

JUSTICE ALITO: Yeah. Well, I’m going to give you an example, which is — you know, it’s troubling. I can see how it would slip through. I’m not accusing you personally of anything.

 But, on page 23, you say that in founding-era America, legal reference guides advised local officials to “arrest all such persons as in your sight shall ride or go armed.” And this is a citation to John Haywood, A Manual of the Laws of North Carolina, 1814.

 So I looked at this manual, and what it actually says is “you shall arrest all such persons as in your sight shall ride or go armed offensively.” And somehow that word “offensively” got dropped —

MS. UNDERWOOD: Well, our —

JUSTICE ALITO: — from your brief.

MS. UNDERWOOD: I will —

JUSTICE ALITO: Do you think that’s an irrelevant word?

Of course, it’s not an irrelevant word. Justice Alito went on to point out that including the word “offensively” means the founding-era law actually doesn’t support gun control. (Which, presumably, is why the New York legal team left it out.)

At another point, Justice Brett Kavanaugh, speaking of the problems with government officials giving permission to exercise rights, said:

“Well, that’s the real concern, isn’t it, with any constitutional right? If it’s the discretion of an individual officer, that seems inconsistent with an objective constitutional right.”

What does this mean for gun rights?

As encouraging as these moments were, they provide very little insight into how the Court will actually rule.

After all, the Supreme Court is known for asking tough questions only to issue a narrow ruling that doesn’t do much for gun rights – in other words, a piecemeal approach to “appease” both sides.

And based on other questions raised by the Justices, some of them seem to be at least considering the possibility of a middle-of-the-road ruling that dodges the real issue – which will almost certainly include glaring loopholes the gun grabbers will seize upon.

There is also the possibility that – despite grilling the gun-grabbers today – Chief Justice Roberts could shock us all with an anti-gun ruling.

This means we still have our work cut out for us.

Even in the best-case scenario – if the court issues an historic pro-gun ruling – state legislatures, D.C. politicians, and gun control groups alike will immediately start trying to get around it – or will even defy it outright, just as they did after the last major pro-gun Supreme Court ruling in 2010.

This means we have to be ready to sue in many more places when the final ruling is handed down, likely in the spring of 2022.

Bottom line? Yesterday was a good day for gun owners at the Supreme Court, but this case and what it means for the Second Amendment is FAR from being decided.

Tomorrow the fight continues. Stay tuned!

And if you would like to help us fight for gun rights in the courts, click here to make a tax-deductible donation.

National Foundation for Gun Rights press release

NFGR Sends Legal Warning to South Carolina Lawmakers over First Amendment Threat

National Foundation for Gun Rights press release

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: October 5, 2021

Contact: NFGR Press Room
Tel. 877-405-4570
Email: pressdept@gunrightsfoundation.org

National Foundation for Gun Rights Warns of Lawsuit if South Carolina General Assembly Passes “Gag Act” into Law

Enactment of S 174 would trample South Carolinians’ right to political speech and association free from government intrusion

Loveland, CO – The National Foundation for Gun Rights and allied law firm the Dhillon Law Group, Inc. informed the South Carolina Senate that if they pass Senate Bill 174 (commonly known as the Gag Act) into law, the Foundation will file a lawsuit as the law constitutes an infringement on multiple Constitutional rights.

“The Gag Act is a blatant violation of the rights enshrined in the First Amendment, and if the South Carolina Senate thinks they can get away with stripping the right to free speech and privacy away from ordinary citizens who join political groups, they better be prepared to face us in court,” said Dudley Brown, Executive Director of the National Foundation for Gun Rights.

If passed into law, the Gag Act would force organizations like the National Association for Gun Rights, Palmetto Gun Rights, and other grassroots groups and citizen organizations to disclose the private information of their members, as well as restrict citizen lobbying during state elections.

Part of the letter reads, “Senate Bill 174 (S 174) would flagrantly violate the constitutional rights of those who dare to speak to the public and associate with each other regarding their country’s and South Carolina’s pressing political challenges. We urge the Senate to reject this bill, which defies Supreme Court precedent rejecting unnecessary, invasive, vague, overbroad, and burdensome political disclosure requirements that unlawfully chill First Amendment freedoms of speech and association. Specifically, S 174 is a multi-pronged assault on South Carolinians’ constitutional rights and must be rejected.”

The National Association for Gun Rights has a vested interest in protecting the First Amendment, Second Amendment, and privacy rights of its members, as well as protecting the privacy rights of its state chapter, Palmetto Gun Rights.

The letter concludes:

“If SB 174 is enacted, we have been authorized to file a lawsuit pursuant to 42 U.S.C. §1983 for the deprivation of constitutional rights. Once we prevail in protecting those rights, we will seek our reasonable attorney fees under 42 U.S.C. §1988(b). We thereby strongly encourage you to reconsider moving forward with the proposed legislation.”

A full copy of the letter sent to the legislative leadership of the South Carolina Senate can be found here: South Carolina Senate Letter

The National Foundation for Gun Rights is a 503(c)(3) organization that exists to expand pro-gun precedents and defend gun owners in the courts.

###