(CN) — A federal judge struck down an effort by gun groups to overturn California's recent law that bans the marketing of firearms to children.
U.S. District Judge Dale Drozd of the Eastern District of California ruled Thursday evening that the groups were unlikely to succeed in challenging the law and denied their request for a preliminary injunction.
The plaintiffs, including youth sports and pro-hunting groups, argued that the law violated gun manufacturers' freedom of speech. Judge Drozd countered that argument in his 41-page opinion, saying that states had the right to regulate commercial speech.
"The court concludes that there is ample documentation of the serious and ever-increasing problem of gun violence involving minors, and the state has a substantial interest in addressing that problem," the opnion stated.
The law, AB 2571, was signed by Governor Gavin Newsom in July last year. It was promptly met with challenges from pro-gun organizations.
“Today’s decision is another victory in our fight to protect California from this epidemic of senseless gun violence,” said Attorney General Rob Bonta in a statement. “The idea of marketing dangerous weapons to kids is despicable, and I will not stand for it. Our children and families have endured enough fear and pain from endless gun violence tragedies — it's time to end this. My office will continue fighting with every tool we have at our disposal to defend our state’s lifesaving gun safety laws.”
The plaintiffs could not be reached for immediate comment after business hours on Friday.
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