San Francisco’s Board of Supervisors approved a resolution on Tuesday naming the National Rifle Assn. a domestic terrorist organization and encouraged other cities to do the same.
Supervisor Catherine Stefani introduced the resolution after a mass shooting at the Gilroy Garlic Festival in Northern California in July killed three people, including two children, and injured 17. Citing recent mass shootings as well as a rise in hate crimes, the resolution accuses the country’s most influential gun lobbyist group of spreading “propaganda that misinforms and aims to deceive the public about the dangers of gun violence,” promoting extremist positions and arming “individuals who would and have committed acts of terrorism” because of its advocacy.
“People are dying every day in this country,” Stefani said in an interview with KTVU on Tuesday. “Doing nothing is not an option. And that’s what the NRA continues to do.”
The resolution called for labeling the NRA a domestic terrorist organization and asking San Francisco’s city and county governments to limit any business relationships its vendors and contractors may have with the organization. It also called on San Francisco leaders to encourage other jurisdictions, including cities, states and the federal government, to adopt similar positions on the NRA.
In the aftermath of recent mass shootings, the NRA has come under fire by politicians and activist groups for its power to stymie the gun control debate and prevent gun control legislation. At a recent presidential candidate forum on gun violence in downtown Des Moines, several candidates called for campaign finance reform as a solution to combat the NRA‘s influence on elections.
The San Francisco board adopted the resolution on the same day that Walmart Inc. announced that it would phase out sales of ammunition for handguns and short-barrel rifles in light of recent mass shootings. Chief Executive Doug McMillon also asked customers not to openly carry guns in Walmart or Sam’s Club stores unless they are law enforcement officers.
Stefani, who is part of the pro-gun control group Moms Demand Action, accused the NRA of working to limit gun violence research, restricting gun violence data sharing and trying to halt gun violence prevention legislation.
“When they use phrases like, ‘I’ll give you my gun when you pry it from my cold, dead hands’ on bumper stickers, they are saying reasoned debate about public safety should be met with violence,” she said.
In response to the board’s decision, the NRA said in a tweet that the decision is a reckless assault on “a law-abiding organization, its members, and the freedoms they all stand for.”
“This ludicrous stunt by the Board of Supervisors is an effort to distract from the real problems facing San Francisco, such as rampant homelessness, drug abuse and skyrocketing petty crime, to name a few. The NRA will continue working to protect the constitutional rights of all freedom-loving Americans,” the organization said in a statement to KTVU.