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Arguments set in ‘Jane Doe' gun case

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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – The 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals will hear arguments Dec. 10 in a legal battle about whether two young adults can remain anonymous in a challenge to the constitutionality of a Florida gun law.

The arguments will be heard in Atlanta, where the appeals court is based, according to information posted last week on a court docket.

The appeals court had previously indicated the case would be heard in December but had not specified a date.

The National Rifle Association filed the appeal last year after Chief U.S. District Judge Mark Walker rejected an attempt by two 19-year-olds, identified in court papers as Jane Doe and John Doe, to take part anonymously in the challenge to the gun law.

The NRA has argued that anonymity is needed because of concerns for the safety of the pair. But opponents have contended that allowing them to remain anonymous would hinder public access to court proceedings.

The NRA filed the broader legal challenge last year after the Legislature passed a measure that increased from 18 to 21 the minimum age to buy rifles and other long guns in Florida. That move came after the February 2018 mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School that killed 17 people.

The NRA later sought to add an Alachua County resident as a plaintiff and identify her as Jane Doe. It also sought to add to the case allegations related to another young adult identified as John Doe.