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Los Angeles passes motion: City contractors with NRA ties must disclose them – likely to pass

Los Angeles city hall. (Pixabay/Released)
October 14, 2018

The Los Angeles City Council passed a motion for a new ordinance that would require all city contractors to disclose any connections they may have to the National Rifle Association.

While the ordinance would not directly prohibit contractors from working for the city if they have a connection to the NRA, it does mandate the disclosure of such connections, CBS Los Angeles reported Wednesday. The disclosure will likely be used to avoid conducting business with such contractors.

The council passed the motion in a vote of 10-0. It orders the city attorney to create an ordinance that will detail the new rules requiring the disclosure. Once the ordinance is drafted, the City Council will vote on it.

“For the sake of transparency, the city’s residents and stakeholders deserve to know how the city’s public funds are being spent, and whether taxpayer funds are being spent on contractors that have contractual or sponsorship ties with the NRA,” the motion says.

The motion did not specify whether or not current city contractors have connections to the NRA.

Councilmember Mitch O’Farrell created and presented the motion. He blames the NRA for impeding gun safety legislation in the U.S.

“With the increase in mass shootings in this country, it’s really time to call them out for what they are responsible for,” O’Farrell said in a statement to USC’s Annenberg Media.

Executive Director of Gun Owners of California, Sam Paredes, said the ordinance is a politically-driven legal method of discrimination. “There’s no other justification for anything like this,” he said. “Who or what a contractor supports has no bearing on the quality of work they do to provide a particular service.”

The motion is the latest of several steps Los Angeles has taken in recent years in opposition to guns.

In August, another councilman introduced a motion prohibiting the possession, download, or distribution of any 3-D firearm blueprints throughout the city — even making such actions a misdemeanor. The measure followed the heels of legislative action from gun control advocates to block the release of 3-D firearm blueprints published by Defense Distributed made possible by a State Department settlement in July.

In 2015, the council also passed a ban on — and subsequent confiscation of — high-capacity magazines containing more than 10 rounds.

Their latest disclosure motion may have been a retaliatory measure against the NRA, who challenged the city’s ban on compact handguns under a 6.75-inch barrel length and 4.5 inches in height.  

Both the NRA and the California Rifle & Pistol Association challenged the city’s ban, threatening to sue the city if they failed to overturn the law. The groups argued that state law permitted the sale of those weapons, overriding the ordinance. As a result, the city council repealed the 14-year-old ban.

An estimated date on the drafting and final vote on the latest disclosure ordinance was not specified. However, Paredes noted that it’s very likely the ordinance will pass the council and be signed by the mayor, given the council’s strong opposition to firearms.