‘Jane Doe' gun case to be heard in December

A federal appeals court is expected to hear arguments in December in a dispute about whether two young adults can remain anonymous in a challenge to a 2018 Florida gun law.

The 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has tentatively scheduled oral arguments on the anonymity issue during the week of Dec. 9 in Atlanta, according to an online docket.

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 argued 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.