(CNN) — California Governor Gavin Newsom signed into law a gun control law on Friday that allows citizens to bring civil action against anyone who manufactures, distributes, transports or imports assault weapons or phantom guns, which are banned in the state.
The bill 1327 The California Senate is modeled after a Texas law that allows citizens to bring civil lawsuits against abortion providers or anyone who helps a pregnant person obtain an abortion after just six weeks of pregnancy.
In December, the US Supreme Court allowed Texas’ six-week abortion ban to remain in place, prompting Newsom, who has supported abortion rights and gun control, to say he was “outraged ” for the court’s decision and directed his staff to draft a similar bill to regulate guns.
Under California law, a person could also sue a licensed firearms dealer who “sells, furnishes, delivers, or gives possession or control of a firearm” to anyone under the age of 21. It allows citizens to sue for a minimum of $10,000 for each weapon involved, as well as attorneys’ fees.
Newsom, a Democrat, acknowledged Friday that the law would likely be challenged in court.
“We believe that this will be litigated in the Supreme Court and we believe that the Supreme Court will be challenged. Because if there is any principle left at all — and that is an open question — with this Supreme Court, there is no way that they will deny us the right to move in this direction,” he said after signing the bill at Santa Monica College, the site of a massacre in 2013.
The law, introduced in February, says it would become “inoperative upon invalidation” of the Texas abortion law, should the US Supreme Court or the Texas Supreme Court strike down that measure. The California law would then be “repealed on January 1 of the following year.”
Last month, the US Supreme Court ruled that the Constitution protects the right to carry a gun outside the home and, by striking down a New York gun-carrying restriction, allowed all manner of gun safety laws were challenged in federal court. The decision will likely affect legal challenges to California’s assault weapons ban, its ban on magazines with more than 10 rounds and its ban on preventing people under 21 from buying certain semi-automatic weapons.
California has passed several gun control measures this month aimed at curbing gun violence in the wake of several mass shootings across the country, including a mass shooting on the 4th of July in downtown Sacramento Y a mass shooting in the same city just three months before.
Newsom signed a law last week that makes it easier for victims of gun violence or local governments to sue gun manufacturers if firearms were used in crimes. And on Thursday, the governor signed a slew of gun control legislation that would require more regulations on gun sales and dealers within the state, as well as more information sharing between schools and law enforcement agencies. law.
While the Democratic governor said Friday there is a “less than zero” chance he will run for the White House in 2024, he has recently doubled down on his efforts by challenging other big-state Republican governors, who like him are speculative presidential candidates. .
Before the legislation was signed Friday, he ran a full-page ad in three Texas newspapers attacking Texas Gov. Greg Abbott for his position on abortion rights and guns. “If Texas can ban abortion and put lives in danger, California can ban deadly weapons of war and save lives,” Newsom said in a statement to CNN. “If Governor Abbott really wants to protect the right to life, I urge him to follow California’s lead.”
During Friday’s signing ceremony, Newsom argued that it’s time to “act differently” in response to rights that Republican states are “taking away in real time.” He said that he would highlight this legislation for other governors to enact in their states.
But when asked directly about a presidential bid, the governor said Friday: “Subzero, I’ll say it in five languages now. I don’t know how many more times I can say it.”
“I can’t stand what is happening in this country, I can’t stand the assault on freedom. I can’t stand the rhetoric,” he said, adding, “This is a challenging time. The Supreme Court has put this responsibility squarely on the doorstep of governors now, and legislative leaders and local leaders across the country. And we have to face this moment and we cannot do it with the passivity that we have seen in the past.”
However, Senate Bill 1327 has drawn criticism from the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), which warned that the measure would set a “dangerous legal precedent: it would not only undermine fundamental principles of due process, rather, it would eliminate the judiciary as a check and balance against the political branches, effectively unraveling the separation of powers doctrine.”
“There is no way to ‘take advantage of the flawed logic’ of the Texas law,” ACLU California Action wrote in a letter to legislative authors of the billadding: “Reproducing the reprehensible Texas model only serves to legitimize and promote as evidenced by the copycat measures already enacted in some states, with many more pending across the country.”
CNN’s Dan Merica, Andy Rose and Tierney Sneed contributed to this report.