Judge: NRA Can't Keep Teens' Identities Secret in Lawsuit Over Florida Gun Laws

May 15, 2018

Expressing sympathy for her plight, a federal judge nevertheless turned down a request by the National Rifle Association to keep the identity of a 19-year-old Alachua County woman secret in a challenge to a state law that raised from 18 to 21 the minimum age to purchase rifles and other long guns.

Lawyers for the NRA late last month asked U.S. District Judge Mark Walker to keep the identity of "Jane Doe" secret, based in large part on a declaration filed by the gun-rights group's Florida lobbyist Marion Hammer, who detailed threatening emails she had received featuring derogatory words for parts of the female anatomy.

"If it were entirely up to this court, this court would not hesitate to grant the NRA's motion. One need only look to the harassment suffered by some of the Parkland shooting survivors to appreciate the vitriol that has infected public discourse about the Second Amendment. And this court has no doubt that the harassment goes both ways; Ms. Hammer's affidavit proves just that," wrote Walker, who in a footnote called the messages sent to Hammer "hateful and abhorrent" and of such an "offensive nature" that he would not repeat them in his order.

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