LOS ANGELES (CN) – Los Angeles City Council members voted Tuesday to repeal an ordinance requiring businesses contracted with the city to disclose any ties to the National Rifle Association.
The move comes after a federal judge temporarily blocked the law last month.
Councilmembers unanimously approved the ordinance last February requiring companies that do business with the city to disclose links to the gun rights advocacy organization or its subsidiaries.
The text of the ordinance, introduced by LA Councilmember Mitch O’Farrell, says public funds spent on NRA-tied contracts undermine the city’s attempt to legislate gun safety.
The Fairfax, Virginia-based organization responded with a federal lawsuit against the city months later, arguing the policy silences NRA members and supporters in the city by forcing them to disclose their ties with the organization.
The ordinance stops short of barring NRA-connected contractors from doing business with the city and also maintains exemptions for government contracts, pension funds and other agreements.
But U.S. District Judge Stephen V. Wilson, citing concerns that the ordinance could violate the First Amendment, issued an order in December granting the NRA’s request for a preliminary injunction.
Wilson wrote in his order that it is unclear whether LA’s ordinance succeeds in its goal of advancing stricter gun laws by reducing pro-gun advocacy.
Councilmembers voted 12-0 Tuesday to formally repeal the ordinance after discussing the matter in a closed session.
A spokesperson for O’Farrell did not immediately respond to a request for comment Tuesday.
Jason Ouimet of the NRA Institute of Legislative Action said in a statement that Tuesday’s vote is another legal victory for the organization.
“The same city officials who vowed to defend this ordinance are on the run,” Ouimet said. “In addition to the NRA members they wronged, city officials must now answer to voters and taxpayers for their failed experiment, and explain why they recklessly subjected the city to legal and financial exposure.”
NRA attorney Chuck Michel of the firm Michel & Associates said in a statement that the group will continue to pursue other remedies.
“Facing a trial where they’ll have to account for the unconstitutional ordinance, city officials are trying to mitigate the consequences of their illegal misbehavior,” said Michel, who represents the group in its lawsuit against the city. “This is another decisive victory for the NRA, which stood and fought for its members’ rights.”
LA City Attorney’s Office spokesman Rob Wilcox did not immediately respond to a request for comment Tuesday.
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