NRA sues Los Angeles over law requiring
disclosure of ties to gun rights group
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[April 25, 2019]
By Jonathan Stempel
(Reuters) - The National Rifle Association
sued Los Angeles on Wednesday over a new law requiring that contractors
disclose their ties to the gun rights group as a condition of obtaining
business from the second most-populous U.S. city.
Los Angeles was accused of trying to "silence NRA's voice, as well as
the voices of all those who dare oppose the city's broad gun-control
agenda," by cutting off revenue streams the group needs to advocate for
the right to bear arms.
At issue was an ordinance that took effect on April 1, requiring
companies that want city contracts to disclose NRA contracts or
The NRA said the law is unconstitutional because it violates its First
Amendment right to free speech and association, and its 14th Amendment
right to equal protection. It sued in Los Angeles federal court.
Mayor Eric Garcetti, also named as a defendant, signed the contracting
law on Feb. 18 following passage by the Los Angeles City Council.
That body said providing public funds to NRA-linked contractors
undermines efforts to promote gun safety in Los Angeles, which has about
4 million people.
Spokesmen for Los Angeles City Attorney Mike Feuer said his office will
vigorously defend the ordinance.
Garcetti said: "I support this policy, Iím confident in it, and we're
not going to be bullied by the NRA."
The lawsuit was filed 11 months after the NRA sued New York Governor
Andrew Cuomo, accusing him of threatening its survival by pushing
insurers and state-chartered banks to stop doing business with gun
New York has denied the NRA's "blacklisting" accusations.
[to top of second column]
An attendee speaks to representatives of the National Rifle
Association (NRA) at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC)
annual meeting at National Harbor in Oxon Hill, Maryland, U.S.,
March 2, 2019. REUTERS/Joshua Roberts
The Los Angeles ordinance was a response to what it said were more
than 1,600 mass shootings in the United States since the December
2012 attack at the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut.
It cited shootings including the November 2018 killing of 12 people
at a Thousand Oaks, California bar, the October 2018 deaths of 11
worshippers at a Pittsburgh synagogue, and the October 2017 killing
of 58 people at a Las Vegas music concert.
According to the NRA, the Los Angeles law has nothing to do with
awarding contracts to the best candidates.
"This is one of the largest cities in the country using its power to
bully lawful businesses and individual members based on their
political viewpoint," the complaint said.
Chuck Michel, a lawyer for the NRA, in a statement accused Los
Angeles of "modern day McCarthyism," echoing language he used when
the law was passed.
The case is National Rifle Association et al v. City of Los Angeles
et al, U.S. District Court, Central District of California, No.
(Reporting by Jonathan Stempel in New York; editing by Jonathan
Oatis and Tom Brown)
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