Lone Star Gun Rights files federal lawsuit against Texas Speaker Dennis Bonnen

Earlier this legislative session, second amendment advocate Chris McNutt drove up to Texas Speaker of the House Dennis Bonnen's Lake Jackson home to quote "lobby" for "Constitutional Carry" -- the ability to carry openly or concealed without a license as long as you can legally possess a firearm.

Well going to Bonnen's house turned out to be a bad idea for the cause. Bonnen wasn't impressed.

Several lawmakers called it "intimidation."  The Constitutional Carry discussion was over.

"I think it would have died anyway.  There just was not the appetite to go that far this session," said Ed Scruggs with Texas Gun Sense.  

Scruggs says his group fought against open carry, campus carry and this too.

"The term Constitutional Carry, we don't even believe in that, we call it 'permitless carry' because basically it would allow just about anyone to carry a gun without a license or training," Scruggs said.  

That brings us to a Federal lawsuit Lone Star Gun Rights filed this week against Speaker Bonnen.  

"He's playing checkers and we are playing chess," said gun advocate Michael Cargill.  

According to the suit, members of Lone Star Gun Rights have been banned from interacting on Bonnen's Facebook page. According to the group and the attorney representing them, it's a violation of the 1st and 14th amendments of the United States Constitution.

"We've seen this through Trump and other elected officials as well, you cannot just block someone from your social media account because you don't like what they're saying," Cargill said.  

Speaking for Lone Star, Cargill says "You're supposed to listen to people, be there for the people, be the voice for the people...for the people who can't travel the distances to get here to the Capitol," Cargill said.

One of the claims in the suit: a member of Lone Star commented on Bonnen's Facebook page after he was elected speaker, calling for the prioritization of Constitutional Carry.  A comment the suit describes as not defamatory, obscene or profane.

According to Lone Star, the member's access to Bonnen's page changed after that.  He couldn't comment on the speaker's posts.

"My understanding is this is his page, he just chooses to disseminate some information that way, I don't think the State has an official House Speaker's page.  I think that same rule would have to go for the Governor or the Lt. Governor," Scruggs said.

"So he doesn't have any other accounts, he just has that one account.  So he uses that account to let you know as 'Speaker of the House' 'this is how I feel' and 'this is how I think,'" Cargill said.

The lawsuit references a similar case against President Trump's personal @realDonaldTrump Twitter handle.

Lone Star Gun rights isn't looking for punitive damages from the speaker.  Just a declaration from the court that affirms Bonnen can't block anyone from the page.

"Again, another form of harassment.  So in the long term what does that accomplish?  Does that win someone over to your side?  I really don't know," Scruggs said.  

We did reach out to Speaker Bonnen.  His office says they cannot comment on pending litigation.