PALM BEACH COUNTY, Fla. (CBS12) — A 19-year-old who wants to join the NRA’s lawsuit to challenge Florida’s new gun law is asking a court to protect her identity.
West Palm Beach Defense Attorney Greg Morse says it’s very uncommon for a lawsuit to have a litigant want to keep their identity secret.
“The constitutionally embedded principal of our democracy is litigation must be public and it’s very hard to overcome that constitutional principle,” Morse said.
But that’s exactly what the 19-year-old North Florida woman is seeking and she’s claiming it’s in the name of safety.
The NRA supports her claim.
“People who claim to be opposed to violence are threatening violence, how ridiculous is that?”NRA lobbyist Marion Hammer said.
The NRA sued Florida moments after Gov. Rick Scott signed a new school safety law following the Valentine’s Day mass shooting at Stoneman Douglas High School that left 17 dead. It raises the minimum age from 18 to 21 and imposes a three-day waiting period to purchase long guns.
The NRA contends the age restriction violates the rights of responsible, law abiding adult Florida citizens and is invalid under the Second and 14th Amendments.
In court filings, seeking a judge’s permission to protect the teen’s identity, the NRA is relying on scores of alleged threatening and derogatory phone calls and emails aimed its lobbyists in Florida.
“She certainly doesn’t want to be exposed to this,” Hammer said. “Who wants to get death threats? Who wants to get this kind of vile filth?”
A judge gave the state until the end of the week to respond to the request.