California governor calls for a Texas-like ban on assault guns

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) -- California Gov.

California governor calls for a Texas-like ban on assault guns

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) -- California Gov.

Esat Zorkun
Esat Zorkun
12 December 2021 Sunday 11:05
1649 Reads
California governor calls for a Texas-like ban on assault guns

Gavin Newsom, the California Governor, pledged Saturday to give private citizens the power to enforce a ban against the manufacture and sale assault weapons in the state. He cited the same authority that conservative Texas lawmakers used to ban most abortions once a heartbeat has been detected.

California has been banning the sale and manufacture of assault-style weapons for many decades. In June, a federal judge ruled that the ban was unconstitutional. This drew the ire of Democratic leaders in California who compared the AR-15 rifle to a Swiss Army Knife and declared it "good for both home AND battle." California's ban continued in effect while they appealed.

In Texas, Republican legislators passed a law this year banning abortions after a detectable fetal heartbeat. This is usually around six weeks into a pregnancy. Private citizens can enforce the Texas ban by sueing abortion clinics or anyone else who assists and abets with the procedure.

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California governor calls for a Texas-like ban on assault guns

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Friday's decision by the U.S. Supreme Court allowed Texas' law to continue in force while abortion clinics sued to stop it. Newsom, a Democrat supporting abortion rights, was furious at the decision.

"If states can now shield laws from review by federal courts that compare assault weapons with Swiss Army knives then California will use that authority for people's safety, where Texas used it in Texas to put women in danger's way," Newsom stated in a statement released Saturday by his office at 7:07 p.m.

Newsom stated that he directed his staff to work together with the state's Legislature, and its Democratic attorney General to pass a law that would allow private citizens to sue to enforce California’s ban on assault weapon. Newsom stated that plaintiffs could be awarded up to $10,000 per violation and other costs and attorney fees against anyone who makes, distributes or sells assault weapons in California.

Newsom stated that if the best way to keep these deadly weapons off the streets is to add the threat to private lawsuits, then we should do exactly that.

The Texas abortion law is the subject of legal dispute. Its unusual structure has been the focus. This structure may have limited the ability to challenge the law in court. Texas legislators gave the responsibility of enforcing this law to private citizens and not state officials.

This case raised complex issues regarding who can sue the law in federal court to challenge abortion restrictions.

Before Newsom's gun plan can become law, it must be approved by the California state Legislature. The Legislature is currently not in session and will reconvene in January. Exceptional circumstances may delay the passage of new bills by about eight months.

Bieber Republican State Senator Brian Dahle would not support the plan, but predicted that it could pass California's Democratic-dominated state Legislature. He stated that the proposal was likely an attempt to get Newsom's support, and possibly for him to run for the presidency in the future.

"The right of having an abortion is not the same as the right to bear arms. It is not a constitutional amendment that allows you to have an abortion. Dahle stated that he thinks he is way off base. "I believe he is just using it to grandstand."

Some gun rights groups saw Newsom's Saturday night announcement as a fulfillment of a prophecy that progressive states would try to use Texas' abortion law in order to limit access to guns. The Firearms Policy Coalition, an advocacy group for gun rights, filed a brief at the U.S. Supreme Court to oppose the Texas law.

Attorney Erik Jaffe, representing the Firearms Policy Coalition, wrote that Texas would succeed in its game plan. New York, California and New Jersey will follow suit and adopt aggressive gambits to not only chill but also freeze the right to keep, bear and bear arms.

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