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Outrage of the Week: San Francisco Bans Guns ... for Movie Poster Cops?!

Friday, August 13, 2010

San Francisco is well known for its fog.  But while the sunshine sometimes cuts through fog in the atmosphere, one fog that rarely seems to lift is the fog of anti-gun thinking.  Twice, the city has tried to ban handguns, and been turned back by court challenges.  The city's public housing authority also had to be sued to end its ban on gun possession by public housing residents.  And the NRA is currently backing a challenge to the city's gun storage law, which requires city residents to store their handguns in locked containers or disabled with trigger locks.

But as if all that weren't enough, SF Weekly blogs reported this week that the city of San Francisco's Municipal Transportation Agency (SFMTA) doesn't allow advertisements with guns in them.  Specifically, SFMTA advertising policy regarding firearms says, "Advertising on Municipal Transportation Agency ("MTA") property, or as authorized under any contract with the MTA, constitutes a nonpublic forum.  No such advertisement shall:  … appear to promote the use of firearms."

One victim of the policy (other than the First Amendment rights of advertisers) is a subway poster for the action-comedy movie "The Other Guys."  The official poster for the movie shows Will Ferrell and Mark Wahlberg (their characters are law enforcement officers, no less) flying through the air with guns drawn.  Typical movie stuff.  But not for SFMTA, which apparently finds the poster threatening and will only allow a revised poster, featuring Ferrell holding a can of pepper spray and Wahlberg sporting only his fists, as they supposedly take on the bad guys.

Ads like the official movie poster pose no threat to anyone.  The ridiculous SFMTA policy, as applied to movie ads, is not only unconstitutional, but is another example of anti-gun paranoia and political correctness.  And that makes it an outrage.

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Established in 1975, the Institute for Legislative Action (ILA) is the "lobbying" arm of the National Rifle Association of America. ILA is responsible for preserving the right of all law-abiding individuals in the legislative, political, and legal arenas, to purchase, possess and use firearms for legitimate purposes as guaranteed by the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.