Los Angeles

Judge Denies City of Los Angeles Request to Toss NRA Lawsuit

A federal judge Monday denied a request by the city of Los Angeles to dismiss a National Rifle Association lawsuit challenging a new law requiring city contractors to disclose any ties they have to the gun- rights group.

U.S. District Judge Stephen V. Wilson did not immediately rule on an NRA motion for an order freezing the law while the lawsuit continues.

A spokesman for the City Attorney's Office did respond to a request for comment left after regular business hours.

The NRA sued the city in April in Los Angeles federal court. The ordinance approved by the Los Angeles City Council in February does not ban NRA- connected contractors from doing business with the city but it does require them to disclose any contracts or sponsorships they have with the organization. In its 21-page complaint, the NRA alleges violations of the First Amendment and contends the ordinance intends to "silence NRA's voice, as well as the voices of all those who dare oppose the city's broad gun-control agenda."

But City Councilman Mitch O'Farrell, who originally introduced the ordinance, called the suit "an act of desperation by an organization in trouble."

The NRA claims in the lawsuit that by enacting the ordinance, "the city hopes to pressure NRA supporters and members to end their relationships with NRA, reducing NRA's funding and support. Indeed, the city's goal is to diminish NRA's political contributions, its membership numbers and ultimately its pro-Second Amendment speech."

The lawsuit further alleges that, should defendants succeed in cutting off the NRA's revenue streams "necessary for NRA to continue engaging in protected speech and association, NRA will have been drained of its financial resources and been harmed in its ability to fulfill its mission to protect and preserve the right to keep and bear arms."

The NRA claims the city is trying to "silence NRA's voice, as well as the voices of all those who dare oppose the city's broad gun-control agenda."

The lawsuit also claims City Council members "have made disparaging, false and hyperbolic statements about NRA and its supporters, suggesting that the organization is doing something unlawful or immoral. The city has a history of pressuring businesses that seek to do business with the city to end relationships with NRA."

The complaint seeks preliminary and permanent injunctive relief prohibiting enforcement of the law, damages and costs, including attorney's fees.

Copyright CNS - City News Service
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