State Watch

California governor to use Texas abortion law tactics to target assault rifles

California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) is looking to use a tactic from Texas’s controversial abortion law to target assault rifle sales in the Golden State.

Newsom on Saturday said he directed his staff to collaborate with the legislature and attorney general to draft a bill that would allow private citizens to file lawsuits for at least $10,000 “against anyone who manufactures, distributes, or sells an assault weapon or ghost gun kit or parts in the State of California.”

“If the most efficient way to keep these devastating weapons off our streets is to add the threat of private lawsuits, we should do just that,” he added in a statement.

California has had a ban in place on the manufacture and sale of specific assault-style weapons, The Associated Press noted, adding that a federal judge overturned the ban in June, ruling that the law was unconstitutional.

The state is appealing the judge’s ruling, in which he likened an AR-15 rifle to a Swiss Army knife, claiming the former is “good for both home and battle,” according to the AP.

Newsom’s announcement followed a ruling from the Supreme Court on Friday that allows Texas’s controversial abortion law to remain in place. The policy prohibits abortions from being performed after a fetal heartbeat is detected, which could occur as early as six weeks — before many women know they are pregnant.

The law also empowers private citizens to file lawsuits against individuals who perform, aid or abet an abortion after a fetal heartbeat is detected.

The Supreme Court in its ruling also said abortion providers can pursue a federal lawsuit challenging the law.

The California governor on Saturday said he was “outraged” by the Supreme Court’s decision.

“If states can now shield their laws from review by the federal courts that compare assault weapons to Swiss Army Knives, then California will use that authority to protect people’s lives, where Texas used it to put women in harm’s way,” he said.

“If that’s the precedent then we’ll let Californians sue those who put ghost guns and assault weapons on our streets,” Newsom said in a separate tweet on Saturday, referring to the Supreme Court’s decision to let the law stand.

The AP noted that a bill typically takes roughly eight months to pass the state legislature in California.

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