A federal judge has ordered Virginia to implement a new law that requires local governments to keep an eye on where young girls are coming from and what they are wearing, and to ban them from openly carrying firearms.
The Virginia Supreme Court on Friday issued a temporary restraining order blocking the new law.
It allows local governments in the state to prohibit girls who are under the age of 18 from openly bringing guns to school or from traveling with a concealed firearm on school property.
The order was issued in a case involving a group of girls who were arrested last year after they tried to sneak into a Virginia high school to pose as freshmen.
They were arrested for having guns in their backpack and carrying a handgun on their person.
The girls had been on the run from police in the city of Falls Church, Virginia, for more than a week.
The case is expected to be appealed, but the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit in Richmond ruled in April that Virginia’s laws violate the girls’ right to due process and equal protection under the law.
“The State has not shown a compelling interest in protecting the rights of the young girls,” Judge Catherine Lunsford wrote.
“Rather, the State appears to be motivated solely by the desire to reduce the threat posed by those who pose a threat of serious injury or death.”
The girls’ lawyer, Mary M. Withers, said the law is a step toward protecting girls from the fear and stigma they may face at the hands of other children.
“I think it’s a good thing for girls,” she said.
The Girl Scouts of the USA said the court order was a step in the right direction, but it said the organization is waiting for more information about the new state law.