Newsom to sign gun law modeled after Texas abortion ban

California Gov. Gavin Newsom is expected to sign a controversial gun control bill Friday, modeled on Texas’ vigilante abortion law, beginning a legal battle with a U.S. Supreme Court friendly to 2nd Amendment groups and gun owners.

Newsom began a legal game of chess in December when he called for a California gun control law modeled on a Texas law authorizing individuals to sue anyone who assists in an abortion that the Supreme Court refused to block.

State Senator Bob Hertzberg (D-Van Nuys) and a coalition of Democratic lawmakers introduced Senate Bill 1327 in response to Newsom’s motion to test the Supreme Court’s legal logic while building political rivalry with states that have installed a conservative majority in the Judges to expand gun ownership and limit abortion rights.

“As the Supreme Court rolls back proper gun safeguards, California continues to add new ways to protect the lives of our children,” Newsom said in a statement. “California will use every tool at its disposal to save lives, especially in the face of an increasingly extreme Supreme Court.”

That The law, scheduled to take effect in January, will allow individuals to sue anyone who imports, distributes, manufactures or sells illegal firearms in California, such as B. Assault weapons, .50 BMG rifles and so-called ghost guns. The law provides for a court to award $10,000 in damages for each weapon used in an alleged violation, along with attorneys’ fees. The bill was written so that if the Texas law were repealed, California law would be similarly invalidated.

Newsom placed SB 1327 at the top of a list of more than a dozen bills he prioritized this year to address a nationwide mass shooting crisis and further curtail the already limited influence of California’s gun industry. Newsom signed another measure this month to establish a “firearms industry standard of conduct” and allow local governments, the state Department of Justice and gun violence survivors to sue for violations of state law. Other bills he signed would restrict firearms advertising to minors, take action against ghost weapons and urge school officials to investigate credible threats of mass casualties on campus.

Proponents billed SB 1327 to curb gun violence by enlisting legal help from private individuals to stop the proliferation of prohibited firearms in the Golden State.

The Texas law that inspired California law allows citizens to sue abortion providers and anyone who helps a woman achieve an abortion at five or six weeks of pregnancy.

“You have to do everything you can to reduce gun violence,” Hertzberg said. “If Texas uses this legal framework to essentially ban abortion for women, California will use this legislation to save lives.”

Lawsuits are expected against many, if not all, of the bills, with several gun ownership groups citing the directives as violating 2nd Amendment rights.

“It is evident that this is retaliation against legitimate gun owners and the court for the Texas decision,” said Sam Paredes, executive director of Gun Owners of California. “There is full expectation that the firearms industry will have a very strong response to the signing of this bill.”

“They’re really, really trying to be nothing but vindictive towards legal people in the firearms industry,” Paredes added. “All of our attorneys are in the process of evaluating what we will do about this.”

When the Supreme Court upheld the Texas law, some Second Amendment supporters expressed fears that it could be used against them by gun control advocates, with Erik Jaffe, an attorney with the Firearms Policy Coalition, describing the decision as a means to “deter the practice of.” Weapons” denoted all rights.”

But other legal experts doubt that California’s strategy of mimicking Texas’ abortion ban will achieve the same result when brought before the conservative majority of the Supreme Court.

“A big difference between this law and Texas” [abortion ban] is the likely opinion of the Supreme Court,” said Adam Winkler, a UCLA law professor with expertise in Second Amendment matters.

Winkler pointed to recent Supreme Court decisions that downed the abortion rights guaranteed in Roe vs. Wade and a New York law restricting concealed carry as evidence against his likelihood of upholding California’s new private right of action.

“The Supreme Court is far more likely to nullify California law than Texas law. We now know that one of the reasons the Texas law was not struck down is that the court would overturn Roe v. Wade within months,” Winkler said. “The same court is expanding Second Amendment rights and is now likely to find a ban on assault weapons unconstitutional.”

The American Civil Liberties Union also raised serious concerns about the new law’s enforcement tactics.

Shilpi Agarwal, legal director for the ACLU in Northern California, said the group has no objection to what the bill aims to achieve by restricting access to illegal firearms. Instead, Agarwal said the ACLU does not agree to sidestepping the courts by allowing a private right of action to enforce these restrictions, which could essentially establish a “constitutional arms race” with other states.

“The federal constitution lays the ground for our rights that states cannot step below. This ensures that all citizens, no matter what state they live in, enjoy a minimum set of rights, which are then enforced by courts,” Agarwal said. “[Texas’ abortion ban] should create a trapdoor on this floor. And now other states are creating their own trapdoors. California creates one too. And with all these trapdoors, the floor becomes meaningless.”

A legislative analysis of the bill warned that mimicking a Texas-style private enforcement strategy “can be flawed and dangerous,” noting that California already “strictly controls, regulates, and criminalizes activities related to restricted firearms.”

Hertzberg said the strategy is still worth trying.

“We don’t like the framework, but if we can use it and save lives, why is that wrong?” he said.

Newsom recently said that SB 1327 is a way to “go straight to the heart of private litigation where the Supreme Court rules on abortion.”

“The question is whether they are complete and pathetic hypocrites and frauds in opposing our bill modeled after this abortion law as it relates to private right of action to prosecute assault weapons in California.”

https://www.latimes.com/california/story/2022-07-22/newsom-signs-gun-bill-modeled-after-texas-abortion-ban-setting-up Newsom to sign gun law modeled after Texas abortion ban

Alley Einstein

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