An "epidemic of gun violence" has prompted San Francisco Council to officially label the National Rifle Association a "terrorist organization." The move sparked a war of words with weapons advocates.
During a meeting held on Tuesday, the San Francisco city government unanimously voted to declared the National Rifle Association (NRA) "a domestic terrorist organization” and urged other "cities, states and the federal government to do the same."
The resolution states that the US is "plagued by an epidemic of gun violence" and accuses the NRA of using its considerable wealth and organizational strength to promote ownership and incite gun owners to acts of violence."
"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," the resolution says.
An attack on freedom
Supervisor Catherine Stefani, a neighbourhood leader who advocates for District 2 at the San Francisco City Hall on the Board of Supervisors, introduced the resolution following a deadly shooting at a garlic festival in nearby Gilroy.
"Every country on earth has video games, movies and mental health issues, and yet only the US has gun violence at elementary schools, at the movies, at Walmart," she said.
In a series of tweets, the NRA called the move a "reckless assault on a law-abiding organization, it's members, and the freedoms they all stand for," which only served to "distract from the real problems facing San Francisco, such as rampant homelessness, drug abuse and skyrocketing petty crime."
Implications for the NRA in San Francisco
What this now means in real terms is unclear as a resolution is a policy statement "to express approval or disapproval" of the board.
Enforcement may have an impact on some local businesses, however, as the resolution states "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 resolution also adds that it hopes other jurisdictions follow suite.
Retail giant Walmart recently announced that it will stop sales of some types of ammunition, including bullets that can be used in assault weapons and handguns.