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Public Safety

US Judge Strikes Down California Ban On Handgun Ads

A semi-automatic hand gun is displayed with a 10 shot magazine, left, and a 15 shot magazine, right, at a gun store in Elk Grove, Calif., Tuesday, June 27, 2017 photo.
Associated Press
A semi-automatic hand gun is displayed with a 10 shot magazine, left, and a 15 shot magazine, right, at a gun store in Elk Grove, Calif., Tuesday, June 27, 2017 photo.

A U.S. judge has struck down a nearly century-old California law that banned gun shops from advertising handguns on their premises.

Judge Troy Nunley in Sacramento ruled Tuesday that the law violated the First Amendment. Nunley said the state failed to show that enforcing the law would prevent violence or suicides.

The ruling came in a lawsuit filed in 2014 by several gun dealers who were fined by the state for handgun ads. The 1923 law banned any handgun ads at gun shops that were visible from outside the store.

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Nunley noted that gun shops could put up a 15-foot display of a sporting rifle or place ads for handguns elsewhere such as on a billboard blocks away.

An email seeking comment from the state attorney general's office was not immediately returned.