SACRAMENTO – California Governor Gavin Newsom promised on Saturday to empower citizens to veto the manufacturing and sale of assault weapons in the state, pointing to the similar authority that conservative lawmakers in Texas are claiming to outlaw most abortions once a heartbeat is detected.
California banned the manufacture and sale of many assault-like weapons decades ago. A federal judge struck down that rule in June as unconstitutional, and outraged state Democratic leaders by comparing the popular AR-15 rifle to a Swiss army knife “good for both home and battle.” it remained in effect until the state’s appeal was resolved.
For their part, Republican legislators this year approved a law that prohibits abortion once the heartbeat has been detected, something that usually happens around six weeks of pregnancy. The norm allows private citizens to monitor compliance with the law and gives them powers to sue abortion clinics or anyone who “ assists and is complicit ” in the intervention.
The U.S. Supreme Court on Friday allowed Texas law to remain in effect while abortion clinics sue to block it. That decision angered Newsom, a Democrat who defends abortion rights.
“If states can now protect their laws from federal court review comparing assault weapons to Swiss army knives, then California will use that authority to protect people’s lives, while Texas used it to put women in prison. a vulnerable position, ” he said
Newsom in a statement released by his office at 7:00 p.m. Saturday. Newsom said he instructed his staff to work with the state legislature and his attorney general, who is a Democrat, to pass a law allowing private citizen lawsuits to enforce California’s veto on assault weapons.
Plaintiffs could win up to $ 10,000 per violation, in addition to other legal costs and expenses from their prosecution against “anyone who makes, distributes or sells an assault weapon” in California, Newsom said.
“If the most efficient way to keep these devastating weapons off our streets is to add the threat of private lawsuits, that is precisely what we must do,” Newsom said.
The legal battle surrounding the anti-abortion law in Texas has centered on its unusual structure and if it inappropriately limits how to challenge the text in court. Texas lawmakers delegated responsibility for law enforcement to citizens rather than state authorities.
The case raised a series of complex technical questions about who can sue a law in federal court, the customary avenue for appealing abortion restrictions.
Newsom’s proposal would have to pass first in the California state chamber before it becomes law. The legislature, which is in recess, is scheduled to meet again in January. Except in special circumstances, passing new bills takes about eight months.
Some groups that defend the right to bear arms have indicated that progressive states would try to use the anti-abortion law in Texas to restrict access to guns. The Firearms Policy Coalition, a nonprofit group that defends gun freedom, filed a document with the United States Supreme Court opposing the Texas law.
“If Texas succeeds in its gamble, New York, California, New Jersey and others will soon adopt similarly aggressive strategies to not only stop, but paralyze the right to keep and bear arms, ” attorney Erik Jaffe wrote on behalf of the Firearms Policy Coalition.