California Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) signed a gun control bill modeled after Texas’ abortion ban that will allow private citizens to sue gun manufacturers.
According to a report by Fox News, the California law includes in its new zone of liability, anyone who manufactures, sells, transports, or distributes illegal “assault weapons and ghost guns.”
The legislation was developed in response to the Texas abortion ban from the previous year, which forbade the practice once a heartbeat was discovered and gave individuals the right to sue anybody who assisted a woman in getting an abortion for $10,000.
If a private citizen sued under the California gun law, they would be awarded $10,000 in damages for each weapon. The same amount may be awarded to citizens who bring legal action against someone who knowingly distributes firearms to minors under the age of 21.
The legislation was launched as a result of Newsom’s December directive to state legislators to design a gun control measure modeled after Texas’ S.B. 8 abortion law.
The Texas heartbeat law could continue to be in place after a legal challenge, the Supreme Court determined just days before the governor called for the legislation.
“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 trigger 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.”