HomeUSASAF’s Alan Gottlieb et.al. sues Washington's Attorney General over civil rights violations

SAF’s Alan Gottlieb et.al. sues Washington’s Attorney General over civil rights violations

Published on

Weekly Newsletter

To be updated with all the latest news, offers and special announcements.

Being a civil rights activist, advocate, and leader/founder of pro-freedom groups brings with it a certain amount of baggage. Trying to promote liberty in general – never mind the Second Amendment – on a national level, while being based in Washington state, can’t be easy. Our good friend Alan Gottlieb over at the Second Amendment Foundation knows this all too well, and has recently been left with no other recourse but to sue over alleged harassment. A recent announcement on the lawsuit against Washington’s Attorney General talks about two plus years worth of discriminatory practices, costing Gottlieb et.al. a pile of money and time.

The Second Amendment Foundation and Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms, and their CEO Alan Gottlieb, have filed a federal civil rights lawsuit against Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson and members of his staff, alleging that Ferguson has used the power of his office to chill the activities of SAF, which are aimed at protecting and expanding Second Amendment rights.

The complaint was filed in U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington. The case is known as Second Amendment Foundation v. Ferguson.

Additional plaintiffs are the Center for the Defense of Free Enterprise, the Service Bureau Association, Merril Mail Marketing and Liberty Park Press. They are represented by attorneys Steven W. Fogg and Jack M. Lovejoy at Corr Cronin LLP in Seattle.

Ferguson and three assistant AG’s assigned to the Consumer Protection Division (CPD) of the Attorney General’s office are being sued individually and in their official capacities

According to the complaint, “Over the last two years, the Consumer Protection Division of the Attorney General’s Office (“CPD”) has carried out an expansive, highly intrusive probe into the private affairs of SAF, CCRKBA, CDFE, SBA, LPP, MMM, Mr. Gottlieb, and his family. It has served Civil Investigative Demands (“CIDs”) on each of the plaintiffs, including two on Mr. Gottlieb, citing the same consumer protection laws Mr. Ferguson was recently found to have abused.” The complaint refers to a recent Washington Supreme Court ruling which “held unanimously that Mr. Ferguson’s office improperly used Washington Consumer Protection and Charitable Solicitations Acts to suppress constitutionally protected speech with which he disagreed.”

The complaint alleges that Gottlieb, his family members, and organizations that have his fingerprints on them, have been undergoing these probes. The AG has been investigating the organizations’ and individuals’ business/private dealings. The harassment has been ongoing and because of it “SAF and Mr. Gottlieb have been forced to expend hundreds of man hours and over one hundred thousand dollars in legal fees just responding to these demands, and there is no end in sight.” The complaint also alleges that professional advisors to Gottlieb et.al. had cut off ties due to the inquiries, “For an extended period, SAF and CCRKBA were unable to communicate with its long-time accountants, only later learning that the accountants had gone silent due to one of the AG’s gag orders.”

“It is a sad day when you have to sue the state Attorney General for violating your civil rights,” Gottlieb stated. “This is not something we ever anticipated, nor do we take any pleasure in it. However, because the CPD has singled out SAF and myself for invasive and expensive harassment because of my political beliefs, especially my positions on gun control and our outspoken criticism of Attorney General Ferguson, our only recourse is to take legal action.

The lawsuit notes that Gottlieb is “a vulnerable target,” as a 76-year-old man “with a history of cardiac arrest.”

“CPD’s treatment of Mr. Gottlieb is designed to destroy his health, make his and his family’s lives miserable, and to chill the activities of SAF and the other entities or force them out of business as punishment for their politics and opposition to Mr. Ferguson and his agenda,” the complaint alleges.

Reading the complaint, we can clearly see this seems to be a product of trying to destroy political opposition. Gottlieb, the SAF, the CCRKBA, et.al. suffered through two years of “investigations,” and no actual wrongdoing has been identified, as the complaint relates.

Throughout this protracted process, CPD has claimed to be investigating unlawful conduct and enforcing the law. But in the two years of investigating, it has never identified any unlawful conduct whatsoever, nor asked or directed that any of the plaintiffs make changes to their practices. In fact, the CPD has never even been able to explain why it initially suspected any of the plaintiffs had engaged in unlawful conduct. Public records requests reveal—and CPD all but admits—that it has received virtually no consumer complaints regarding SAF or any other CID recipients.

In a statement, the Executive Director of the Second Amendment Foundation, Adam Kraut, echoed what the core of the complaint is about. “The Office of the Attorney General is one which inherently possesses significant power and comes with the expectation that its holder will not abuse that power for a political agenda or personal crusade,” said Kraut.  Unfortunately, for the people of Washington, Attorney General Bob Ferguson has placed his political preferences above impartiality. For the past two years, his office has inquired into the activities of the Second Amendment Foundation in a highly intrusive manner.”

“From the very beginning,” Kraut continued, “the Foundation has cooperated with the Attorney General’s Office and supplied all of the requested information, made employees available for depositions, spending hundreds of man hours and tens of thousands of dollars in attorney’s fees to do so, all while pursuing its mission. Yet, the Attorney General’s Office has not once clearly articulated the basis for the investigation or any wrongdoing of the Foundation. What is clear is that this investigation stems from the Attorney General’s abuse of office in an effort to silence and cause harm to his political enemies. Regrettably, and despite the Foundation’s efforts to resolve this amicably, the Attorney General has elected to continue to waste the taxpayer’s money due to his failure to recognize that his two-year fishing expedition has rendered nothing useful to his political ambitions and forced the Foundation to bring this action to vindicate its rights in an effort to stop this unjust harassment.”

It appears the Attorney General of Washington is lashing out against Gottlieb, his family, his colleagues and business associates, and any of the organizations he’s associated with, due to the work that he does. The U.S. is supposed to be a civilized society, and having Attorney Generals not respect the rule of law, while seeming to abuse their power against political adversaries is just deplorable. 

We’ll be watching the progress of this lawsuit and how our friends in Washington state make out. In the meantime, be sure to visit the Second Amendment Foundation and Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms online, for more information and perhaps toss them some support. We wouldn’t be where we are today, with our civil rights intact – and gaining, if it were not for groups like these. The good these two groups do is far more than the media coverage we could ever possibly give.

Read the full article here

Latest articles

TFB Review: The Modernized Browning A5 With An XS Sights Vent Rib

TFB Review: The Modernized Browning A5 With An XS Sights Vent Rib Designed in 1898...

Armed Citizen Aids Pennsylvania Officer Who Came Under Fire

You'd think a licensed concealed carry holder coming to the defense of a police...

How to Prepare for Disaster as a Family

Prepping as a lone wolf is a much different experience than prepping with a...

Will Support for Gun Control Derail Republican Congressman in TX-23 Primary? Follow the Results Here.

The bruising primary fight between Rep. Tony Gonzales and challenger Brandon Herrera is over,...

More like this

Negotiations For The Global Pandemic Treaty Have Broken Down, But Fear Of What Is Next May Revive Them

This article was originally published by Michael Snyder at The End of the American...

The Backpacking Luxury Item We Can’t Leave Behind: REI Co-op Flexlite Air Chair Review

I get it. Sometimes, it’s hard to justify packing a camp chair on a...

Daniel Defense Stands Firm Against Lawsuit

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7qppBhZw0MI On the second anniversary of the...

Tow Big or Go Home: 2024 Ford F-250 Super Duty Review

Towing is hard. I know I’m going to take some heat for that, especially...

Virginian Hit With Fine, No Prison Time for Bringing Ammo to Turks and Caicos

A Virginia man has become the second American to avoid a lengthy prison stay...