New law: Californians can now sue guns manufacturers and sellers

LOS ANGELIS — In the US state of California, citizens can now file civil lawsuits against guns manufacturers and sellers. Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom signed legislation awarding plaintiffs at least $10,000 if their lawsuits are successful.

New law: Californians can now sue guns manufacturers and sellers
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Assault rifles are banned in California. The new law also affects weapons that can be ordered as a kit and assembled yourself. “You can’t sell these illegal weapons of war and weapons of mass destruction and you can’t bring them into California, and if you can, there are 40 million people who can get $10,000 to take action against these illegal actions” Newsom said.

Example Texas

The new law uses a legal trick, mimicking the Texas abortion law known as the “Heartbeat Law.” The law prohibits abortion as early as the sixth week of pregnancy, in violation of the landmark case Roe v. Wade on the legalization of abortion in the United States. The US Supreme Court has since overturned that landmark decision and struck down federal abortion laws. The same court recently strengthened the right of gun owners to carry their guns in public.

Texas uses a trick with the law: instead of the authorities enforcing the ordinance, private individuals must file civil lawsuits against those who help women with abortions. This approach also makes lawsuits against the law more difficult, as the authorities are usually sued. Therefore, the Supreme Court declined on procedural grounds to strike down the Texas statute, even though it was against Roe v. Wade violated.

“These are the rules they made”

California took this approach as a model and applied it to gun laws. “We’re using Texas,” California Sen. Anthony Portantino said. “Frankly, if Texas can use a private right of action to attack women, then we can use a private right of action to make California safer.”

Governor Newsom said the Supreme Court has “opened the door” to action in California with its ruling on Texas’ abortion law. “The Supreme Court said that’s fine. It was a terrible decision [in Texas, ed.], but these are the rules they made.”

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