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New L.A. City ordinance requiring contractors to disclose NRA business ties raises First Amendment questions

Los Angeles City Hall.
Los Angeles City Hall.
Photo by Harshil Shah via Flickr Creative Commons

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The Los Angeles City Council passed a law Tuesday requiring companies that want city contracts to disclose whether they have ties to the National Rifle Association.

Councilman Mitch O’Farrell sought the ordinance in the wake of recent U.S. mass shootings. He says the NRA has been a “roadblock to gun safety reform” for decades.

NRA attorneys had warned they’d sue if the ordinance passed.

Attorney Chuck Michel calls the move “modern-day McCarthyism” that would force NRA supporters to drop their memberships for fear of losing their livelihoods.

Is such a requirement constitutional, or does it violate the First Amendment’s right to free speech? What could that mean for the future of the ordinance? We discuss the legality of the measure.

With files from the Associated Press.


Eugene Volokh, law professor at UCLA teaching free speech law; he tweets @VolokhC