LOS ANGELES (AP) — The National Rifle Association sued Los Angeles on Wednesday over a new law requiring companies that want city contracts to disclose whether they have ties to the gun rights group.
The lawsuit filed in U.S. court claims the law is unconstitutional because it violates the First Amendment right to free speech and association and the 14th Amendment right to equal protection.
The city said in a statement that it would defend the ordinance that took effect April 1.
Mayor Eric Garcetti, also named as a defendant, signed the law after it was passed by the City Council.
Councilman Mitch O’Farrell sought the ordinance in the wake of U.S. mass shootings, including a November attack that killed 12 people at a bar in Thousand Oaks, California. He said the NRA as been a “roadblock to gun safety reform” for decades.
Supporters maintain Los Angeles shouldn’t give public funds to NRA-linked contractors while the city tries to promote gun safety.
NRA attorney Chuck Michel countered that the law would force NRA supporters to drop their memberships for fear of losing their livelihoods.
“This is modern-day McCarthyism, and my clients are confident no judge will let it stand,” Michel said in a statement after the lawsuit was filed.
The legal action asks the court to strike down the law, which it says seeks to “silence NRA’s voice, as well as the voices of all those who dare oppose the city’s broad gun-control agenda.”