Washington, DC (January 13, 2020)—Today the nonprofit Center for Consumer Freedom applauded a newly filed lawsuit seeking to overturn San Francisco’s ban on the sale of real fur. Beginning Jan. 1, the city has banned the sale of new garments and other products that use natural fur.
The lawsuit argues that this is an unconstitutional restriction on free trade that is not based on any legitimate government interest, such as public safety—but rather an attempt to legislate morality and dictate what people can wear.
The suit is the latest in a slew of legal challenges to California’s restrictions on lawfully produced goods. In December, the state of Louisiana sued California over its ban on alligator leather, which took effect Jan. 1, and recently obtained a temporary block on the leather ban. The same month, the American Farm Bureau Federation sued California over its law banning the sale of commonly produced pork and egg products by 2022. Litigation challenging the state’s ban on foie gras is currently in court as well.
A common theme to these restrictions is that they were pushed by animal liberation radicals. These same activists are also opposed to the sale of leather, wool, cashmere, silk, and meat, and even oppose pet ownership. If they are allowed to ban fur, these products could be next.
These bans are also part of a disturbing trend in “nanny state” laws in California. San Francisco passed a ban on adults from using e-cigarettes—considered by many to be a safer alternative to tobacco cigarettes. Recently, San Francisco banned the sale of bottled water on city property, including San Francisco International Airport, and the state has banned plastic straws. Both of these measures make San Francisco’s ban on fur all the more puzzling, since it will encourage the sale of fake fur, which is commonly made from plastic.
“By banning fur coats and failing to address real issues such as homelessness, San Francisco politicians are the epitome of unfashionable governance,” commented Will Coggin, managing director of CCF. “Memo to California politicians: You do not have the right to stop people from buying things just because you or special-interest lobbyist allies don’t like the products.”
The challenge to San Fran’s fur ban is filed in federal court for the Northern District of California. A copy is available here.