Democrat Gov. Gavin Newsom recently announced California will be a “sanctuary state” for women seeking to abort their child in the wake of the Texas Heartbeat Act that protects the unborn. Now he wants to use the legislation as a template to put gun control laws in place.
The Texas law not only prohibits abortion after a heartbeat is detected but also allows citizens to report violations of the law. California state officials are crafting a measure that would let residents seek damages of at least $10,000, plus legal fees, against gun manufacturers and retailers.
“If states can now shield their laws from review by the federal courts that compare assault weapons to Swiss Army knives,” Newsom said in a press release issued on Saturday. “Then California will use that authority to protect people’s lives, where Texas used it to put women in harm’s way.”
“If the most efficient way to keep these devastating weapons off our streets is to add the threat of private lawsuits we should do just that,” Newsom said.
California Gov. Gavin Newsom thrilled many this weekend by saying that his administration will model a new law on Texas’ abortion ban that would let private citizens sue anyone who makes or sells assault weapons or ghost guns. It won’t work…https://t.co/jOooxEeGq3
— Jonathan Turley (@JonathanTurley) December 12, 2021
The San Francisco Chronicle reported on the development:
Newsom’s office … billed the gun announcement on Saturday as a direct response to a Supreme Court decision on Friday that allowed the Texas abortion measure — which also awards citizens $10,000 if they successfully sue — to stand in most places.
“SCOTUS is letting private citizens in Texas sue to stop abortion?!,” Newsom tweeted on Saturday. “If that’s the precedent then we’ll let Californians sue those who put ghost guns and assault weapons on our streets.”
“He is proposing to use a mechanism that many — that he and many others — have vilified. But I think it’s quite smart, right? I think it’s a big ‘F— you’ to the Supreme Court,” Jessica Levinson, identified as a Supreme Court expert who teaches constitutional law at Loyola Law School in Los Angeles, told the Chronicle.
But Levinson, who like others on the left vilified the Texas law as “vigilante,” is embracing the gun control strategy.
“In one case we might be comfortable with (the strategy) because we don’t want assault weapons on the streets, and in the other case we might not be comfortable with it because we want women to be able to exercise their right to choose,” Levinson said. “If you use it in one, then you really have to use it in another.”
Follow Penny Starr on Twitter