Los Angeles City Council rules “suppress” the speech of the NRA and its sponsors.
The National Rifle Association (NRA) received some good news in its legal challenge to a Los Angeles ordinance requiring businesses to disclose any links with the advocacy group: a federal judge temporarily blocked the rule.
The Los Angeles City Council approved an ordinance this past February requiring companies that do business with the city to disclose any financial connections to the gun-rights advocacy organization.
The Fairfax, Virginia-based organization responded with a federal lawsuit against the city, arguing the policy silences NRA members and supporters in the city by forcing them to disclose their ties with the organization.
U.S. District Court Judge Stephen V. Wilson found that the Los Angeles City Council enacted the rule to suppress the speech of the NRA and its sponsors or business affiliations.
The temporary hold prevents the city from enforcing the rule until the case is fully heard before the court. The City of Los Angeles did not respond to Newsweek’s request for comment about how it plans to pursue the case.
“This is an important win for the NRA, our members, and all who believe in America’s constitutional freedoms,” Andrew Arulanandam, the NRA’s managing director of public affairs, said in a written statement. “In a strong rebuke of the city’s actions, the ordinance is banned from taking effect… The ruling sends a powerful message to those government officials who would take any actions that are adverse to the NRA because they dislike its political speech.
City Councilman Mitch O’Farrell, who championed the law, was less than thrilled with the ruling.
O’Farrell said his office is consulting with the city attorney’s office on the next steps. “Our initiative provides transparency and allows the taxpayer to know how and where their monies are being spent,” O’Farrell said.
Washington Free Beacon contributor Stephen Gutowski notes that federal courts have thwarted viewpoint-based discrimination aimed at the NRA or other gun-rights organizations.
…Wednesday’s ruling is the second time in recent months that a major California city has been forced to back away from attempts to discriminate against NRA supporters.
In September, San Francisco’s city council passed a resolution declaring the NRA a “domestic terrorist organization,” and told the city to stop doing business with anyone who supports the gun-rights group. In October, after the NRA filed a suit against the city, the mayor sent a memo to city employees stating the council’s resolution was not binding and instructing them to disregard it.
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