Newsom backs legislation to allow private citizens to go after gun makers
California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) on Friday announced he will support legislation that would allow for private citizens to go after gun makers, enforcing the state’s ban on assault weapons.
Newsom released a statement supporting the law while comparing the legislation to the Texas abortion law that was allowed to go into effect last year at a press conference. The Texas law allows private citizens to sue anyone who aids or abets an abortion following the allotted six-week period.
“If Texas can use a law to ban a woman’s right to choose and to put her health at risk, we will use that same law to save lives and improve the health and safety of the people in the state of California,” Newsom said Friday.
The California law would let citizens sue companies that take .50 BMG rifles, ghost guns or ghost gun kits and manufacture, import, transport or distribute them in California, the governor’s statement said.
If a citizen wins a case against a manufacturer, they could receive up to $10,000 in damages for each weapon, state Sen. Bob Hertzberg’s (D) office said, according to The Associated Press.
“I’m proud to answer Gov. @GavinNewsom‘s call for legislation to help restrict illegal ghost guns and assault weapons in California,” Hertzberg, who introduced the proposal, said on Twitter Friday.
“Modeled after Texas’ #SB8, my bill creates a private right of action for Californians to use against those selling and manufacturing illegal guns,” he added.
California is expecting the same outcome when the gun law is challenged in court.
Updated: Feb. 18, 2022, 3:45 p.m.