Unconstitutional? CA bill would permit citizens to enforce weapons ban, sue gunmakers

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SAN DIEGO, CA – In an attempt to skirt the U.S. Constitution and challenge the Supreme Court, a new bill in California would allow private citizens to go after gun makers in the same way Texas lets them target abortion providers.

California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) proposed Friday letting private citizens in his state sue gun makers to stop them from selling assault weapons, comparing the bill to one in Texas that lets its residents sue abortion providers to stop the procedures.

At a news conference in Del Mar, Newsom said he thought the Texas law was wrong and that the Supreme Court’s decision in December to let it stay in effect while it goes through appeal was “absurd” and “outrageous”:

“But they opened up the door. They set the tone, tenor, the rules. And either we can be on the defense complaining about it or we can play by those rules. We are going to play by those rules.

“We’ll see how principled the U.S. Supreme Court is.”

The Governor sees the bill as a challenge to the Supreme Court, but the comparison may be oversimplified.

The U.S. Constitution does not explicitly ban abortion, but the Second Amendment guarantees the right to bear arms.

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The Texas law, approved last year, bans all abortions once a fetal heartbeat is detected, usually around the sixth week of pregnancy.

The law does not let the government enforce it. Instead, private citizens can sue abortion providers or anyone who “aids and abets” the procedure

By allowing citizens to sue gun makers in an effort to establish gun control, the move may violate the Second Amendment, which states that the people’s right to bear arms “shall not be infringed.”

Gov. Newsom disagreed:

“If Texas can use a law to ban a woman´s right to choose and to put her health at risk, we will use that same law to save lives and improve the health and safety of the people in the state of California…

“There is no principled way the U.S. Supreme Court cannot uphold this California law. None. Period full stop. It is quite literally modeled after the law they just upheld in Texas.”

The Firearms Policy Coalition, a gun rights advocacy group, vowed to challenge the California bill in court if it became law:

“(The bill is) really just modern-day Jim Crow laws designed to suppress the exercise of human rights the tyrants who run California don’t like.

“Litigate wherever needed to protect the rights and property of peaceable gun owners in California.”

Assembly Minority Leader James Gallagher (R) said the Governor was trying to appeal to voters as his polling numbers drop:

“California already has the strictest gun laws in the nation, so it’s not clear what Governor Newsom is hoping to accomplish here besides a sad publicity stunt.”

Gun rights groups have been watching the Texas abortion law with concern, suspecting liberal states might use the same legal tactic for gun control. Erik Jaffe, an attorney representing the Firearms Policy Coalition, said the that a win for Texas could be costly in places like New York:

“If Texas succeeds in its gambit here, New York, California, New Jersey, and others will not be far behind in adopting equally aggressive gambits to not merely chill but to freeze the right to keep and bear arms.”

Unconstitutional? CA bill would permit citizens to enforce weapons ban, sue gunmakers

NSSF: They can’t get rid of the Second Amendment – so they’re going to try and sue everyone out of business

February 7, 2022

By Matt Manda and our friends at NSSF

Cam Edwards, Editor for Bearing Arms, joined NSSF’s Larry Keane on SHOT Show TV to discuss the myriad of lawsuits currently in courts that have outsized implications on the firearm industry and the millions of law-abiding customers it serves.

 

Kicking off the conversation, Keane brought up a lawsuit in federal court in Boston involving another country besides the United States.

The Mexican government has filed suit against several U.S.-based firearm manufacturers, claiming they are somehow responsible for the criminal and cartel violence south of the border.

Corruption within the Mexican government and military is rampant and well-known and Edwards said their blame-shifting to it being somehow the fault of the U.S. is laughable.

“It seems to me like an egregiously bad argument to say that the U.S. firearms industry is responsible for the cartel violence in Mexico, given what we know about the influence the cartels themselves have over elements of the Mexican government,” Edwards explained.

“This speaks, I really think, to the importance of gun owners working to protect their rights to keep and bear arms, but to protect the firearms industry that allows us to exercise that right.”

A second lawsuit concurrently happening in federal court in the Northern District in New York involves NSSF, along with 14 firearm manufacturers and several retailers, filing suit against the State of New York for their new law, enacted under former disgraced Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo, expanding the “public nuisance” umbrella to allow anyone to sue a firearm manufacturer if a firearm is criminally possessed and used to commit a crime within New York, regardless of where the firearm was legally manufactured, lawfully sold or stolen.

The New York law is a blatant end-around to gut the federal Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act (PLCAA).

“I think a lot of this comes from the fact that the gun control lobby knows that it is not likely to win New York State Rifle & Pistol Association v. Bruen, the New York carry case, and this is their attempt to lash out,” Edwards said.

“If the Supreme Court declares you’ve got a right to keep and you’ve got a right to bear, that shall not be infringed, well then the only way for the gun control lobby to really take a bite out or our rights is to go after our right to acquire firearms.”

Before wrapping up their SHOT TV segment, Keane and Edwards also discussed Duncan v. Bonta, a challenge to California’s law banning the sale and possession of magazines capable of holding more than 10 rounds, a decision recently upheld by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, as well as a case in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit challenging Maryland’s state law banning the sale and possession of so-called “assault weapons.”

Listen to the full SHOT TV segment with Bearing Arms’ Cam Edwards here.

 

 

 

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