Judge Halts Law Banning Violent Video Games

Friday, October 13th 2006, 11:34 am
By: News On 6

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) _ A federal judge has blocked a new state law that would prohibit the sale of violent video games to children.

Two video game industry groups have challenged the law, which was supposed to go into effect Nov. 1.

The California-based Entertainment Merchants Association and Entertainment Software Association argue the law is an unconstitutional infringement on First Amendment rights of free expression.

The groups also say similar laws restricting the sale of video games to teenagers have been overturned in other states.

U.S. District Judge Robin Cauthron agreed this week to the groups' request for an injunction. The merits of the case are set to be addressed next week, Assistant Attorney General Richard Mann said.

House Bill 3004 was written by Oklahoma City Republicans Rep. Fred Morgan and Sen. Glenn Coffee.

Passed and signed into law early this year, it prohibits retailers from selling minors video games that include ``inappropriate'' or ``gratuitous'' violence.

``I am very disappointed in the industry that continues to challenge any type of restrictions on their games without being responsible enough to work with legislators to try to solve the problem,'' Morgan said.

The games are rated and retailers have committed to enforcing ratings restrictions, industry officials say.