Californians can now sue for at least $10,000 against makers or sellers of certain guns

Josue Torres
Photo by Colin Lloyd.Unsplash.

When will the rest of the country have a law like this one?

Shortly after the nation’s most recent mass shooting in a Texas elementary school, the California Senate passed a bill allowing private citizens to sue for at least $10,000 against makers or sellers of untraceable ghost guns or illegal assault weapons.

The new bill is modeled after a Texas abortion law.

Governor Gavin Newsom promptly brought up the matter of gun control a few hours after the recent incident. Newsom mentioned the urgency of a common-sense approach to gun safety.

SB1327 was introduced by Newsom and co-authored by Portantino and Sen. Robert Hertzberg, D-Van Nuys back in December after the Supreme Court permitted Texas to enforce its abortion legislation.

This legislation permits Texans to sue anybody in the state who performs or assists in abortion for $10,000 plus lawyers’ costs if the abortion occurs after heart activity, which occurs about six weeks into a pregnancy.

Newsom said after the court’s ruling was announced, that if that’s the precedent, then Californians will be able to sue those who put ghost guns and assault weapons on California streets.

On a 24–10 vote, the Senate passed the measure and forwarded it to the Assembly.

AR-15-style semiautomatic rifles and pistols with detachable magazines and specified characteristics, such as front pistol grips, are included in California’s definition of banned assault weapons. After each pull of the trigger, semiautomatic guns do not need reloading.

Ghost weapons are offered in pieces with no serial numbers or background checks, and the customer must assemble them.

These weapons have become more common in deadly shootings.
Photo by Colin Lloyd.Unsplash.

Ghost gun components were discovered at over half of the city’s murder sites in 2020, according to San Francisco police; and have proved tough for cops to identify and collect, a challenge that’s likely to stymie private enforcement as well.

The Biden administration has issued regulations requiring background checks and serial numbers on firearms.

Assembly Member Mike Gipson, D-Los Angeles, has introduced AB1621, which would prohibit the manufacture, possession, or sale of any guns that do not meet federal standards in California. It is currently awaiting Assembly approval.

Sen. Andreas Borgeas, R-Fresno, an opponent of SB1327, said Tuesday that he supports serial numbers on all weapons but opposes private enforcement.

According to Borgeas, paying private persons and their lawyers to police the law would be an implicit acknowledgment that law enforcement can’t accomplish what it needs to do anymore.

Sen. Dave Min, D-Irvine introduced SB1384, which would require California firearms dealers to install audio and video surveillance systems in their stores, purchase liability insurance, and undergo annual state training on how to recognize and prevent “straw purchases” of guns by those who are not entitled to possess them.

On a vote of 27–9, the measure was referred to the Assembly.

Are you happy about this new bill? Let us know in the comments.

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