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Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Muni Accepts Gun Group's Poster Promoting Use of Firearms

Posted By on Tue, Aug 31, 2010 at 4:59 PM

click to enlarge Click on image for larger version - HTTP://ONLYGUNSANDMONEY.BLOGSPOT.COM ​
Last month, SF Weekly broke the story that Muni forced the guns to be edited out of the poster for The Other Guys -- as depicting Mark Wahlberg and Will Ferrell with handguns would violate the transit agency's policy against ads that "appear to promote the use of firearms."

The incredibly litigious gun-rights advocates at the Second Amendment Foundation read that article. Then they sent Muni specs for an ad promoting their forthcoming "Gun Rights Policy Conference" in San Francisco, featuring an image of a woman brandishing a large shotgun and the text "can you afford to be unarmed?" -- which, one would have to concede, goes a long way toward appearing to "promote the use of firearms."

Yet Muni has accepted the ads, and 16 of them went up yesterday on bus shelters throughout the city.

Alan Gottlieb, the executive vice president of the Washington-based Second Amendment Foundation, said his group was rankled to learn of Muni's prohibition against firearm-promoting ads. "We read that story, so we decided to push the limit and see if they'd take ours," he said.

Much to his surprise, Muni did take the ads, despite their clear promotion of the use of firearms. "We gave it to them thinking it was going to be rejected. And we were quite ready to go to court," he says. Gottlieb notes that he never made threats about suing the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Authority -- but, then again, he doesn't have to. The Second Amendment Foundation has twice successfully sued to overturn San Francisco gun bans -- first in 1982 and, most recently in 2005. The group also sued to overturn bans on guns in city public housing complexes. "So, they pretty much knew we were going to litigate," sums up Gottlieb.

click to enlarge As seen on Muni...
  • As seen on Muni...
When asked if he really wanted to post up these ads or just wanted an excuse to sue San Francisco again, Gottlieb said either would have been fine. "I'd love to litigate against Muni's policy," he said. "But I have a feeling someone at Muni will decide these things are coming down and we'll still be in court anyway."

click to enlarge Muni has disarmed Will Ferrell
  • Muni has disarmed Will Ferrell
When queried on the matter, Muni spokesman Paul Rose said he has no idea how accepting these ads jibes with Muni's policy regarding material promoting the use of firearms -- and promised to get back to us on that.

Gottlieb said he paid to install 16 bus stop posters for one month to promote the Sept. 24-26 conference. He declined to disclose the fee.

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About The Author

Joe Eskenazi

Joe Eskenazi

Joe Eskenazi was born in San Francisco, raised in the Bay Area, and attended U.C. Berkeley. He never left. "Your humble narrator" was a staff writer and columnist for SF Weekly from 2007 to 2015. He resides in the Excelsior with his wife, 4.3 miles from his birthplace and 5,474 from hers.


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