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Judge Allows Gun Rights Site To Post Lawmakers' Personal Info

Ben Adler/Capital Public Radio

Assembly Democrats display some firearms that would be affected under the measures at a gun control press conference earlier this year.

Ben Adler/Capital Public Radio

A federal judge issued an injunction that will allow gun rights advocates to once again post the home addresses of California lawmakers, after that allegedly led to threats last year.

A blog called therealwritewinger originally posted home addresses and phone numbers for 40 state lawmakers who supported gun laws last year.

"The only way for a tyrant to have their name removed from the tyrant registry is to pass laws which repeal the laws that got them added to the list,  or upon the tyrant’s death,” the post said, according to court documents.

Lawmakers soon reported receiving threats. Citing a state law, their attorneys ordered the information taken down.

"I can certainly see why people would be troubled by that," says UCLA law professor Eugene Volokh, an attorney hired by the Firearms Policy Coalition to sue. "But before you restrict speech, even in an attempt to try to prevent some people from misusing that speech, you need a very demanding showing."

The state law does not require lawmakers prove threats, and the judge says it’s likely unconstitutional.

The judge's order Monday is the second blocking a state law on First Amendment grounds within a week. Last Wednesday, a judge blocked a new state law that would have required the Internet Movie Database, IMDb, to remove actors’ ages from its site.

Ben Bradford

State Government Reporter

As the State Government Reporter, Ben covers California politics, policy and the interaction between the two. He previously reported on local and state politics, business, energy, and environment for WFAE in Charlotte, North Carolina.  Read Full Bio