California Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom on Friday signed a gun control bill into law that will allow private citizens to sue anyone who manufactures, sells, transports or distributes illegal “assault weapons and ghost guns.”
The measure was crafted in response to last year’s Texas abortion ban that prohibits the procedure once a heartbeat was detected and allows private citizens to sue physicians, drivers or anyone else who aids a woman in receiving an abortion for $10,000.
The California gun law would grant $10,000 in damages per weapon to private citizens who sue. Citizens could also be awarded the same amount if they file a lawsuit against someone who illegally sells firearms to people under 21 years of age.
The bill was introduced after Newsom directed state lawmakers in December to draft a gun control measure modeled after Texas’ abortion law, S.B. 8. The governor called for the legislation just days after the Supreme Court ruled that the Texas heartbeat law could remain in effect following a legal challenge.
“Our message to the criminals spreading illegal weapons in California is simple: you have no safe harbor here in the Golden State,” Newsom said in a press release Friday. “While the Supreme Court rolls back reasonable gun safety measures, California continues adding new ways to protect the lives of our kids. California will use every tool at its disposal to save lives, especially in the face of an increasingly extreme Supreme Court.”
The bill was signed at Santa Monica College, the location of a 2013 shooting in which the gunman killed five people using an unserialized AR-15 rifle that had been built using legally purchased parts. The weapon would have been restricted under the new law.
The law is expected to cause lawsuits.
“It is obvious that this is a retaliation against lawful gun owners and the court because of the Texas decision. There’s a full expectation that the firearms industry will have a very strong reaction towards the signing of this bill,” Sam Paredes, executive director of Gun Owners of California, said, according to the Los Angeles Times. “They are really, really trying to be nothing but vindictive against lawful people in the firearms industry. All of our attorneys are in the process of evaluating what we are going to do on this thing.”
Read the full story here.
Scroll down to leave a comment and share your thoughts.