By: Teresa Mull
The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled in the favor of gun rights supporters – and other Americans who think that to whom they donate money is no business of the government – in Americans for Prosperity Foundation v Bonta, Attorney General of California.
The National Foundation for Gun Rights (NFGR) was one of several groups to file an amicus brief in this case, which David Harsanyi of National Review notes, claimed an extremely diverse support group, including groups “that filed amicus briefs arguing that the law was an violation of the First Amendment, [including] the ACLU, NAACP, the Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Human Rights Campaign, PETA, PEN, and the Southern Poverty Law Center.”
At stake in AFPF v Bonta was California’s requirement that “Charitable organizations soliciting funds in California must disclose the identities of their major donors to the state Attorney General’s Office.”
In a 6-3 opinion written by Chief Justice John Roberts, the court ruled that this mandate violates the First Amendment. (Read the full opinion here.)
In a message to supporters, NFGR wrote:
At stake was our ability to fight for the Second Amendment while protecting the privacy of NFGR supporters like you.
They wanted your name and your full address on their government lists just because you support the Second Amendment.
That is a flat-out unconstitutional demand — and today, the U.S. Supreme Court agreed!
As Harsanyi points out, the mainstream media is declaring this a win only for “conservatives” and “the rich,” as NPR and the New York Times write SCOTUS has sided with “rich donors” and “conservative groups” who wish to remain anonymous, despite, as we’ve noted, PETA, the ACLU, and the Southern Poverty Law Center – decidedly not conservative groups – joined in support of this case.
NFGR warns now is not the time to grow complacent:
“This ruling will spark many battles in the states as Left-leaning politicians work to get around the ruling to get their grubby hands on gun supporters’ names and addresses — and we all know what they would do with a list like that.
“For instance, a newspaper in New York in 2012 proved the danger of laws like that by publishing the names and home addresses of scores of local Concealed Carry permit holders.
“Can you imagine the implications if this happened nationwide?
“Many good folks would immediately become vulnerable to harassment and WORSE from government officials seeking to intimidate Second Amendment supporters into silence.”
Teresa Mull (firstname.lastname@example.org) is editor of Gunpowder Magazine.