SACRAMENTO — Gun makers and dealers in California will be required to block firearms sales to anyone they have “reasonable cause to believe is at substantial risk” of using a gun illegally or of harming themselves or others, under a new law that Gov. Gavin Newsom announced Tuesday that he had signed.
It’s a subjective requirement that goes farther than current background checks or prohibitions on selling guns to people prohibit from owning them.
The regulation is part of the new law creating a good conduct code for gun makers and dealers that also allows anyone who suffers harm from violations to sue.
The bill was one of more than a dozen adding to California’s already strict gun regulations that were sent to Newsom, a Democrat, by state lawmakers before they left for their monthlong summer recess.
The National Rifle Association said the requirements are vague and represent an attempt to hold gun dealers and makers liable for the actions of others. The new law, the group said, “seeks to frustrate law-abiding gun owners” with the goal of driving gun makers and dealers “out of business with frivolous litigation.”
The state’s firearm industry standard of conduct, starting in July 2023, will require those making, importing or selling guns to “take reasonable precautions” to make sure the weapons don’t fall into the wrong hands through sales or thefts.
That includes having “reasonable controls” to prevent sales to arms traffickers, straw buyers, those prohibit from owning guns, and anyone deemed to be at “substantial risk” of using the gun improperly.
The New York measure declared such violations a “public nuisance,” taking advantage