Jul 22, 2022 - Politics & Policy

Newsom signs gun control bill modeled after Texas abortion ban

California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) talks with reporters after a meeting with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif.
California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) talks with reporters after a meeting with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi on July 15. Photo: Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images

California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) on Friday signed a first-of-its-kind gun control bill that allows residents to sue gun makers and aims to crack down on "ghost guns."

Why it matters: The measure is built on the same premise as the Texas abortion law that empowers residents to sue anybody who is suspected of helping another person receive an abortion.

Details: The California bill awards individuals who sue gun makers and sellers — those who distribute illegal assault weapons, parts that can be used to build weapons, guns without serial numbers, or .50 caliber rifles — a minimum of $10,000 per weapon.

  • The legislation seeks to combat "ghost guns," which are untraceable firearms that are bought in pieces and assembled by the owner.

The big picture: Newsom, who is currently running for a final four-year term as governor, signed the bill a month after the Supreme Court issued a major ruling that will likely make it harder to regulate guns.

  • In a 6-3 decision, the court in June struck down a New York law that set a high bar for people to get conceal-carry permits.

What he's saying: "While the Supreme Court rolls back reasonable gun safety measures, California continues adding new ways to protect the lives of our kids," Newsom said in a statement released Friday.

  • “California will use every tool at its disposal to save lives, especially in the face of an increasingly extreme Supreme Court."

What to watch: While the Supreme Court gave preliminary approval to the Texas law, Newsom's new actions will be voided if the court ultimately rules against the Texas abortion law, AP notes.

Go deeper... Ghost guns and the Biden administration's new rule to curb them

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