Texas Inspires Gun Legislation

California measure would involve citizens in enforcing assault weapons ban
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Feb 18, 2022 4:06 PM CST
Texas Inspires Gun Legislation
Customers wait in line to enter a gun store in Culver City, Calif., in 2020.   (AP Photo/Ringo H.W. Chiu, File)

A new bill in California would allow private citizens go after gun-makers in the same way Texas lets them target abortion providers, though gun advocates immediately promised a court challenge if it becomes law. Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom on Friday backed legislation that would let private citizens enforce the state's ban on assault weapons. It's modeled after a Texas law that lets private citizens enforce that state's prohibition on abortions once a fetal heartbeat is detected, the AP reports. Newsom said he hopes the proposal forces the US Supreme Court's hand on the Texas abortion law.

"There is no principled way the US Supreme Court cannot uphold this California law. None. Period full stop. It is quite literally modeled after the law they just upheld in Texas," Newsom said. The Firearms Policy Coalition, an advocacy group, pledged a court challenge should the California bill become law. The proposed firearm restrictions are "really just modern-day Jim Crow laws designed to suppress the exercise of human rights the tyrants who run California don’t like," the group said.

"I look forward to rushing a new bill to the governor's desk to take advantage of that United States Supreme Court guidance," said Democratic state Sen. Bob Hertzberg, the author of the proposal. The measure fulfills fears from some gun rights groups that opposed the Texas abortion law because they worried states would use the same principle on guns. Another California bill would limit firearms advertising and marketing geared toward children and youth. Newsom specifically criticized a company called Wee1 Tactical that markets the JR-15, patterned after the adult AR-15 assault-style semi-automatic rifle. The company's logo is a skull sucking on a baby pacifier, available on hats, shirts, patches, and stickers.

(Read more gun laws stories.)

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