California Advances Texas-Style Lawsuits over Illegal Guns
The bill is one of four that Newsom asked lawmakers to fast-track in response to recent mass shootings.
California legislators on Monday approved Texas-style lawsuits over illegal guns, mimicking the Lone Star State’s law aimed at deterring abortions and obliquely linking the two most controversial U.S. Supreme Court decisions from last week.
The California bill would allow anyone to sue people who sell illegal firearms.
Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom sought the measure in part to tweak the conservative wing of the U.S. Supreme Court, which gave preliminary approval to the Texas law allowing citizens to sue anyone who provides or assists in providing an abortion. The California bill would automatically be invalidated if the Texas law is eventually ruled unconstitutional.
Legislators acted days after the nation’s high court allowed states to ban abortions, and separately expanded gun rights in states including California.
“What Texas did on abortion was dangerous, and we already know how disgusting the recent decision by the United States Supreme Court has been,” said Democratic Assemblyman Mike Gipson. “But California stands to lead the way in this space in a very powerful and dynamic way. This is about empowering everyday people who are at the blunt of gun violence.”
The California Assembly approved the bill Monday, 50-19, sending it back to the Senate for a final vote. Senators already passed a version in May on a 24-10 roll call. Newsom has said he expects lawmakers to send the bill to him as early as this week, before they leave for a monthlong summer recess.
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