Democratic California Gov. Gavin Newsom signed a bill Friday that allows private citizens to sue people who manufacture, sell, transport, or distribute illegal “assault weapons and ghost guns.”
The bill was developed in response to the Supreme Court’s ruling on the Texas Heartbeat Act, wherein private citizens would be able to sue people who illegally sell firearms to individuals under 21 years old for up to $10,000, Fox reported. The Texas law provides private citizens in and outside the state with the power to sue abortion clinics and those who help women obtain abortions.
Newsom signed the bill at Santa Monica College, the location of a 2013 mass shooting, the outlet noted. “Our message to the criminals spreading illegal weapons in California is simple: you have no safe harbor here in the Golden State,” Newsom wrote in a press release on 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 statement continued.
You cannot sell or manufacture illegal weapons of war in CA.
And if you do, there are now 40 million people that can collect $10,000 from you for engaging in that illegal activity.
We’re using Texas’ perverse abortion law to ACTUALLY save lives. https://t.co/TmdhzDcJJv
— Gavin Newsom (@GavinNewsom) July 22, 2022
California has reportedly cut its gun death rate in half, making those in the state 25% less likely to die in a mass shooting when compared to other states, according to PPIC. Meanwhile, crime has risen upwards of 8.6% in Los Angeles, one major Californian city, while Santa Monica is now rated one of the “least safe” cities in the state. (RELATED: STUDY: Burglaries Drop In Areas With High Gun Permits)
“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,” Gun Owners of California executive director Sam Paredes 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.”