Monday, May 05, 2003

The NRA has one of its members arrested for passing out pro-gun literature at an NRA event.

"April 29, 2003 – The National Rifle Association apparently had one of its members, a pro-gun activist, arrested at its national convention on Sunday, April 27, 2003 in Orlando, Florida for handing out pro-gun freedom literature from the Free State Project, Inc. The unlucky NRA member was Timothy Condon, a Marine Corps Vietnam veteran and Director of Member Services for the rapidly growing Free State Project. He was arrested by the Orange County Sheriff's Department Sunday for "trespassing" outside the Orange County Convention Center when he refused to leave or cease handing out the Free State Project literature (see sample).
'I believe there is a First Amendment problem with prohibiting people from passing out political literature on public property where there is no problem caused by it,' said Condon, who also happens to be an attorney who practices law in Tampa, Florida. "What is even more bizarre to me is that the National Rifle Association would have one of its own members arrested for passing out literature that supports the Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms."

Apparently he was passing out literature promoting the FreeState Project, an effort to politically take over a state & attempt to bring that state in line with certain views concerning Freedom, Rights, etc. A sample of FreeState Project literature can be viewed here.

It will be interesting to see how this turns out. Legally I think the charges will be upheld, as the public property was rented out by a private organization, thus creating a temporary ownership of the property which would negate the prohibition of governmnet denying free speech on public property. However this probably wil do some harm to the NRA's already questionable reputation as it should.

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