Fight Between Black Lives Matter, National Rifle Association Continues After NRA Sues Over Florida Bill

Rhett Wilkinson

Black Lives Matter may have harshly criticized the National Rifle Association Friday following the NRA's announcement that it is suing over a Florida bill that would raise the rifle-buying age to 21-years-old, Newsweek reported.

BLM described the NRA as a "terrorist organization."

The NRA's federal lawsuit followed Florida Gov. Rick Scott's signing of Senate Bill 7026, which came after the Parkland school shooting. That's when a 19-year-old went into Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School and killed 17 folks with an AR-15 rifle.

"This bill punishes law-abiding gun owners for the criminal acts of a deranged individual," NRA director Chris Cox said, according to CNN. "Securing our schools and protecting the constitutional rights of Americans are not mutually exclusive."

BLM and the NRA have a history of disagreement and have criticized each other in the past, Newsweek reported.

BLM supporters spoke out after an NRA video first seen last year showing footage and photos of demonstrators in Baltimore concerning the passing of Freddie Gray. The BLM civil rights branch in Los Angeles responded with a video making fun of the NRA's promotion by mimicking their foreboding approach.

"When the NRA issues a public call to their constituents, inciting violence against people who are constitutionally fighting for their lives, we don't take that lightly," Los Angeles BLM supporter Funmilola Fagbamila remarks in the broadcast.

BLM supporters also criticized the NRA for failing to answer to the passing of Philando Castile, a gun owner who was black. He was shot July 6, 2016, in St. Anthony, Minn., by Officer Jeronimo Yanez. The NRA remarked on Castile's passing a handful of days later on CNN.

NRA spokeswoman Dana Loesch remarked on Castile's death.

"I think it's absolutely awful. I don't agree with every single decision that comes out from courtrooms of America. There are a lot of variables in this particular case, and there were a lot of things that I wish would have been done differently," Loesch stated. "Do I believe that Philando Castile deserved to lose his life over a [traffic] stop? I absolutely do not."

Loesch claimed on Twitter the next year that Castile did not have his handgun in alignment with the law when he was killed since he possessed marijuana.

Loesch, who used to be a blogger with a large reach, had already been a well-known advocate for gun rights when she affiliated with the NRA early last year as a special assistant to NRA executive vice-president Wayne LaPierre. The cover of her well-read 2014 book, Hands Off My Gun: Defeating the Plot to Disarm America, displays her brandishing a rifle. In the book, Loesch jumps on gun-control arguments, according to The Guardian.

"People need to learn what existing laws we have regulating an issue before proposing new, already existing laws," Loesch tweeted Feb. 20.

When BLM tweeted about the NRA being a "terrorist organization," it included a link to an Associated Press link about the NRA's lawsuit. The NRA contended that the Florida bill violates the Second Amendment of the United States Constitution, the Washington Post reported.

Florida legislators voted for a package of security and gun control provisions, which included a three-day waiting period to buy guns and the disallowing of bump stocks, according to the Post.

The Parkland shooter bought and used a rifle like those in the military, reported USA Today, from a gun retailer licensed under federal law. The shooter was 18 at the time of the purchase. Federal statute has a limit of age 21-years-old for all handgun expenditures from retailers licensed under federal law, according to Giffords Law Center, but the minimum age for expenditures for long guns is 18-years-old, the Post reported.