- Gavin Newsom is working on a bill allowing private citizens to sue makers and sellers of assault weapons.
- The bill is in response to a Supreme Court decision that allowed a Texas abortion law to stand.
- The Texas law invites private citizens to enforce the ban by suing abortion providers.
California Gov. Gavin Newsom said Saturday he is working on a bill that would help private citizens sue manufacturers, distributors, and sellers of assault weapons or ghost gun kits.
Newsom said he was responding to a Supreme Court decision made Friday that allowed a controversial abortion law in Texas to stand. The law bans all abortions after six weeks of pregnancy and invites ordinary citizens, rather than state officials, to enforce it by suing abortion providers or anyone who helps someone get an abortion.
The court’s decision was technical, Insider’s Oma Seddiq reported and did not rule on the constitutionality of the law, which is still being challenged in court.
“SCOTUS is letting private citizens in Texas sue to stop abortion?! If that’s the precedent then we’ll let Californians sue those who put ghost guns and assault weapons on our streets,” Newsom wrote. “If TX can ban abortion and endanger lives, CA can ban deadly weapons of war and save lives.”
—Gavin Newsom (@GavinNewsom) December 12, 2021
Newsom said his staff is working with state legislators on a bill that would allow private citizens to take legal action against “anyone who manufactures, distributes, or sells an assault weapon of ghost gun kit or parts in the State of California.”
Citizens who sue and win would be rewarded at least $10,000 per violation plus the cost of their legal fees, as is also the case in the Texas abortion law.
“If the most efficient way to keep these devastating weapons off our streets is to add the threat of private lawsuits, we should do just that,” Newsom said.
Newsom did not give additional details about what the bill will include or how it would define assault weapons.
The governor’s office did not immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment on details and a proposed timeline of the bill.