On Tuesday, California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) signed a bill that allows individuals who have been the victim of a crime committed with a gun to sue firearm manufacturers for negligence.
“If you’ve been hurt or a family member is a victim of gun violence, you can now go to court and hold these makers of deadly weapons accountable,” Newsom said as he signed the legislation.
With the new law set to take effect next summer, gun makers “could soon face lawsuits if their products are ‘abnormally dangerous,’ are sold in a way that lets them be illegally converted, or end up in the hands of people who are prohibited from owning firearms,” Politico reports.
The legislation was sponsored by Assembly member Phil Ting (D-San Francisco), who noted that the signing of the bill came on the anniversary of a shooting at a San Jose railyard. “That mass shooting feels like a century ago because we’ve had so many mass shootings between last year and today,” Ting said.
The Protection of Lawful Commerce currently guards gun makers in Arms Act (PLCAA). The act shields gun makers in situations where a gun was manufactured and sold legally but was used criminally or unlawfully. The PLCAA has faced many legal challenges over the decades but has always been found to be constitutional.
Newsom also plans to sign another bill soon which came in retaliation to Texas’ abortion ban. The bill in question was modeled after a Texas law that lets individuals sue abortion providers. Newsom’s bill would act similarly, allowing Californians to sue individuals or companies “who manufactures, distributes, or sells an assault weapon or ghost gun kit or parts” in the state, as noted by The Mercury News.
MANAGING EDITOR: CARSON CHOATE
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