Judge denies NRA’s use of pseudonyms in Florida lawsuit
By Daniel Terrill
A federal judge reluctantly denied the National Rifle Association’s use of pseudonyms instead of plaintiffs’ real names in a challenge to a new Florida law placing age restrictions on gun purchases. U.S. District Judge Mark Walker acknowledged the group’s concern for privacy amid the volatile debate over guns, but explained the request for anonymity lacks precedent.
“[T]he NRA has not really identified any information of ‘utmost intimacy’ that would be revealed if Jane and John Doe were forced [to] use their real names,” Walker said in his order. “All we know so far is that they’re nineteen years old, they live in Florida, they’re members of the NRA, they haven’t been convicted of a felony, they haven’t been adjudicated mentally defective, they want to buy firearms, and they want to support the NRA with this lawsuit.”
In court documents, the NRA said it feared that its plaintiffs — two 19-year-old NRA members, one male and one female — would be subjected to harassment and threats if they were identified by name. The organization pointed to nasty emails received by state representative and former NRA president Marion Hammer to show what kind of vitriol the debate spurs.
But, Walker explained the legal use of