AUSTIN (KXAN) — A Texas gun rights advocacy group has filed a lawsuit against Speaker of the Texas House of Representatives Dennis Bonen after they said he blocked the group from participating on his public Facebook page.
Justin Delosh and Jason Davis, co-founders of the group Lone Star Gun Rights, filed the lawsuit after they discovered they could no longer view comments, post comments or express approval or disapproval on any of Rep. Bonnen’s posts.
The lawsuit stated that LSGR frequently circulated such surveys to elected officials to gauge their stance on gun rights.
Delosh commented that he had previously been able to participate on the representative’s page. He said that when he reached out to Bonnen to see if the survey reached him, he noticed he was blocked.
The lawsuit states that once Delosh was blocked by Bonnen, the Facebook page he manages for LSGR was also unable to interact with the representative’s page.
Other members of the group also realized they were blocked, such as the group’s senior editor Derek Wills. The lawsuit said Wills was previously able to participate on Bonnen’s page, but as of April 2, he realized his access had changed.
The lawsuit states that none of the members of LSGR had ever posted something to Dennis Bonnen’s page that was ever profane, indecent, insulting, harassing or offensive.
Back in March, it was reported that a guns rights activist showed up at Bonnen’s Lake Jackson home to confront him over the “constitutional carry” bill. On April 28, Rep. Bonnen posted to his Facebook page that what he called “fringe gun activists” were harassing and threatening him. In the post, Bonnen included a screenshot of a previous LSGR post.
The lawsuit states that by including a screenshot to an LSGR post, Bonnen is accusing the group of harassing and threatening him. Members of LSGR also stated that because they were blocked from Bonnen’s page they could not comment in defense of their group.
LSGR’s lawsuit claims that Bonnen engaged in viewpoint-based discrimination and censorship of the group. They claim Bonnen should have been aware that his actions were infringing on their constitutional rights, stating that government officials cannot censor or restrict speech.