California Gov. Gavin Newsom is pushing legislation that would open the floodgates for frivolous lawsuits against the gun industry.
During a press conference at Del Mar Fairgrounds last Friday, Newsom spoke about his mission to go on the “offensive” by allowing private citizens, municipalities, and the state attorney general to sue gun makers and sellers for “reckless behavior.”
“California will continue to lead the fight to end gun violence with bold action to tackle the national crisis putting millions of Californians at risk,” said Gov. Newsom.
“It’s time to go on the offensive with new measures that empower individuals to hold irresponsible and negligent gun industry actors to account, crack down on shameful advertising that targets our kids and more,” he continued. “This is not about attacking law-abiding gun owners – it’s about stopping the tragic violence ravaging communities across the country.”
Per a press release from the governor’s office, the three bills being prioritized are as follows:
- AB 1594 would allow individuals and the Attorney General to sue firearm manufacturers and sellers
- AB 2571 would prohibit the marketing of certain categories of weapons to children
- AB 1621 would tighten ghost gun restrictions
Media outlets are covering AB 1594 as a copycat of a controversial Texas law that allows any private citizen to sue an abortion provider even if that individual did not receive an abortion. Newsom threatened to propose such a law after the U.S. Supreme Court refused to strike down the Texas policy.
In fact, the California law is modeled more closely after another equally bad New York law that allows gun makers to be sued for creating a “public nuisance.” That law has come under fire from the National Shooting Sports Foundation as a blatant attempt to “impose on the firearm industry a ‘death by a thousand cuts,’” said Lawrence Keane of the NSSF.
With a veto-proof supermajority in both chambers, it’s likely that Legilsture will move expeditiously to enact the proposed bills. Stay tuned for updates.