SACRAMENTO, Calif. — California punched back Friday against two recent landmark US Supreme Court decisions as Gov. Gavin Newsom announced he will sign a controversial, first-in-the-nation gun control law patterned after a Texas anti-abortion law.
His action comes one month after conservative justices overturned women’s constitutional right to abortions and undermined gun control laws in states including California.
Newsom stitched the two hot-button topics together in approving a law allowing people to sue anyone who distributes illegal assault weapons, parts that can be used to build weapons, guns without serial numbers or .50 caliber rifles. They would be awarded at least $10,000 in civil damages for each weapon, plus attorneys fees.
“While the Supreme Court rolls back reasonable gun safety measures, California continues adding new ways to protect the lives of our kids,” Newsom said in a statement released before he signed the bill. “California will use every tool at its disposal to save lives, especially in the face of an increasing extreme Supreme Court.”
Lawmakers patterned the bill, at Newsom’s request, after a Texas law allowing citizens to sue anyone who provides or assists in providing an abortion. The US Supreme Court gave preliminary approval to the Texas law, but California’s law will automatically be invalidated if the Texas law is eventually ruled unconstitutional.
“It’s a crappy decision, but the reality is that as long as it is the law let’s make benefit of it by virtue of saving lives, trying to save lives, in California,” the bill’s author, Democratic state Sen. Robert Hertzberg, said in an interview. “It’s all about these two big issues that are facing us. And you can’t have a double standard. You can’t have one standard for guns and another standard for women’s reproductive health. It’s not right.”
Previously:The Supreme Court just