Free-speech complaint seeks dismissal of Huntington Beach’s attempt to stop petition for local gun ban

Free-speech complaint seeks dismissal of Huntington Beach's attempt to stop petition for local gun ban

The attorney for Daniel Horgan, pictured, filed a court motion last week saying the city of Huntington Beach is violating Horgan’s free speech and right to petition by suing to stop him from circulating a proposal for a local gun ban. (File Photo) A motion filed in Orange County Superior Court accuses the city of Huntington Beach of violating the free-speech rights of a man the city is trying to stop from circulating a petition seeking a local ban on semiautomatic and automatic guns. Attorney Jerry Friedman filed the anti-SLAPP motion May 17 for client Daniel Horgan, a Huntington Beach resident who was trying to get the proposed ban on the city’s Nov. 6 election ballot. SLAPP stands for "strategic lawsuit against public participation" and is considered an attempt to intimidate critics by burdening them with the costs of a legal defense. California is one of 28 states that have anti-SLAPP laws. Horgan’s proposed law would make possession and sale of semiautomatic and automatic firearms in Huntington Beach a felony by April 1. Such weapons already in circulation would have to be surrendered to the Police Department by Jan. 1, though there would be a three-month probationary period to comply. "These weapons are a clear and imminent danger to our community," Horgan wrote in a notice of intent to circulate the petition that he filed with the city in November. According to city officials, Horgan’s Committee to Reduce Gun Violence, which has three members, needs about 12,000 signatures from […]

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