On Friday, California Governor Gavin Newsom, signed into a law a new gun bill, which is largely based on the abortion law in Texas. The Texas “heartbeat law” SB8 bars abortions after 6 weeks of pregnancy.
“If Texas is going to use this legal framework to essentially outlaw abortion and harm women, all with the Supreme Court’s blessing, California is going to use it to save lives and take AR-15s off our streets,” said state Sen. Bob Hertzberg, who penned the bill.
California state officials have confirmed that their state is the first to allow citizens to sue others who either manufacture or sell illegal firearms.
The bill, which is called SB 1327, targets people who use either ghost guns, which are guns with no serial numbers, or illegal assault weapons. Anyone who produces, sells or transports these weapons can be sued for a minimum of $10,000 in damages. Gun owners who illegally sell firearms to under 21’s could also be sued.
“It’s well known that nearly every industry is held to account when their products cause harm or injury, except one: the gun industry,” Newsom said when signing the bill.
“California is going to change that. They can no longer hide from the mass destruction that they have caused … If you’ve been hurt or a family member is a victim of gun violence, you can now go to court and hold the makers of these deadly weapons accountable,” Newsom went onto say.
Newsom has acknowledged that his law will likely be challenged in the Supreme Court. “We believe this will be litigated in the Supreme Court and we believe the Supreme Court will be challenged. Because if there’s any principle left whatsoever — and that’s an open ended question — with this Supreme Court, there is no way they can deny us the right to move in this direction,” Newsom said.
The American Civil Liberties Union California Action have hit out at the bill by saying that it would set a “dangerous legal precedent — not only undermining fundamental principles of due process, but eliminating the judiciary as a check and balance against the political branches, effectively unraveling the separation of powers doctrine.”
“There is no way to ‘take advantage of the flawed logic’ of the Texas law,” the ACLU California Action wrote in a letter to the authors of the bill. “Replicating the reprehensible Texas model only serves to legitimize and promote it, as evidenced by the copycat measures already enacted in some states, with many more pending around the country.”
ARTICLE: PAUL MURDOCH
MANAGING EDITOR: CARSON CHOATE
PHOTO CREDITS: LA TIMES
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