A federal judge rejected a longstanding California law barring gun stores from using handguns as props in store advertisements, ruling on the grounds of free speech.
In a case between California gun store owners and the state, the federal judge found California's law on handguns or imitation handguns being displayed "where it can readily be seen from the outside" was unconstitutional due to it restricting gun store owners' rights to commercial speech.
The state argued the law doesn't infringe on the speech more than necessary in the interest of reducing handgun-related suicide and crime. But the judge dismissed the arguments, saying the state "provided no evidence directly linking [the law] to reduced handgun suicide or crime." He also added the state could further its cause through enforcing existing laws.
According to statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, California's Firearm deaths rate was 7.9 per 100,000 people in 2016, which increased from the year prior, but was still lower than the U.S. average of 11.8 per 100,000.