A Los Angeles City Council committee approved a motion Monday that would require all city contractors to disclose affiliations with the NRA.
Councilmember Mitch O’Farrell, the motion’s presenter, said that NRA lobbying has been one of the biggest roadblocks to gun safety legislation nationwide.
“With the increase in mass shootings in this country, more than 200 this year in 2018 so far, it’s really time to call them out for what they are responsible for,” said O’Ferrell in a statement to Annenberg Media.
It is currently unknown how many Los Angeles city contractors are affiliated with the NRA.
The pro-gun group has suffered a series of setbacks this year, after major brands cut ties following the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting in February. Among these were global industry leaders such as Delta Airlines and MetLife Insurance.
While the motion passed Monday does not call for an outright ban on NRA-affiliated contractors, the language used indicates that such organizations will be unlikely to receive city business. A similar motion was passed last year requiring city contractors to disclose if they had placed bids on President Donald Trump’s border wall.
Sam Paredes, executive director of Gun Owners of California, describes the proposed ordinance as legal discrimination on political grounds. “There’s no other justification for anything like this,” said Paredes. “Who or what a contractor supports has no bearing on the quality of work they do to provide a particular service.”
The motion passed Monday comes on the heels of a slew of new gun control laws signed by California Governor Jerry Brown last week. These include raising the minimum age for purchasing long guns from 18 to 21, and lifetime bans on firearm ownership for people who have been convicted of domestic violence charges or have been hospitalized more than once in a year for mental health reasons.
In March, Los Angeles passed a law requiring gun ranges and firearm sellers to post suicide-prevention information. As one of the original proponents of that law, Margot Bennett, executive director of Women Against Gun Violence, considers it a significant victory for gun-safety activism.
“We think that that legislation will end up going nationwide,” said Bennett. “Our organization has received a lot of calls from other gun-violence prevention organizations across the country asking for the language of the [suicide-prevention] ordinance.”
The NRA-affiliation disclosure ordinance must pass the full Los Angeles City Council and be signed by the mayor before taking effect. Sam Paredes says that the political makeup of the L.A. City Council makes this likely. “It’s populated by arch anti-constitutional, anti-second amendment supporters, so I expect fully that it’s gonna pass,” said Paredes.
Margot Bennett, on the other hand, is hesitant to comment on the ordinance’s chances of success. “Frequently there are things that I think will pass easily that get held up, so I don’t know. I would like it to pass. We would like it to pass.”