CA Gun Control Law Opens Gun Dealers to Lawsuits Over Breach of New ‘Firearm Industry Standard of Conduct’

POMPANO BEACH, FL - JANUARY 16: Jonathan Schwartz (R), a salesman at the National Armory gun store, fills out the paperwork for Reese Magnant as he buys a National Armory AR-15 Battle Entry Assault Rife on January 16, 2013 in Pompano Beach, Florida. President Barack Obama today in Washington, DC …
Joe Raedle/Getty

Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) signed legislation Tuesday allowing California residents to sue not only gun makers, but also gun dealers if a firearm they sold under certain circumstances is afterwards used in a crime.

The legislation, AB 1594, was sponsored by California State Assembly member Phil Ting (D-San Francisco) and signed by Newsom, as Breitbart News noted on July 12.

Politico reported that the new law means gun makers “could face lawsuits if their products are ‘abnormally dangerous,’ are sold in a way that lets them be illegally converted, or end up in the hands of people who are prohibited from owning firearms.”

The law also means that gun dealers could be sued if they sell a gun to someone they believe may use it criminally.

The law does this by establishing a “Firearm Industry Standard of Conduct” and allowing lawsuits against firearm industry members who allegedly fail to meet that standard.

The Associated Press notes:

Gun makers and dealers in California will be required to block firearms sales to anyone they have “reasonable cause to believe is at substantial risk” of using a gun illegally or of harming themselves or others, under a new law that Gov. Gavin Newsom announced Tuesday that he had signed.

It’s a subjective requirement that goes farther than current background checks or prohibitions on selling guns to people prohibited from owning them.

In short, the new law means that even if an individual passes a National Instant Criminal Background Check (NICS) background check, observes the 10-day waiting period for firearm purchases, registers the gun per state law, etc., the gun dealer can still be sued if the gun is then used criminally by someone whom the dealer allegedly should have foreseen as a danger.

The text of AB 1594 says:

This bill would…authorize a person who has suffered harm in California, the Attorney General, or city or county attorneys to bring a civil action against a firearm industry member for an act or omission in violation of the firearm industry standard of conduct, as specified. The bill would authorize a court that determines that a firearm industry member has engaged in the prohibited conduct to award various relief, including injunctive relief, damages, and attorney’s fees and costs.

The new gun control law takes effect July 1, 2023.

AWR Hawkins is an award-winning Second Amendment columnist for Breitbart News and the writer/curator of Down Range with AWR Hawkinsa weekly newsletter focused on all things Second Amendment, also for Breitbart News. He is the political analyst for Armed American Radio. Follow him on Twitter: @AWRHawkins. Reach him at awrhawkins@breitbart.com. You can sign up to get Down Range at breitbart.com/downrange.

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