Legislation allowing private persons to sue anyone who sells, manufactures, or distributes assault weapons and firearms produced at home to evade tracing was signed by California Governor Gavin Newsom on Friday, Reuters reported.
The legislation is a jab at a Texas statute that lets anyone bring legal action against anybody who aids a woman in having an unlicensed abortion there.
On the same day that he ran an advertisement in Texas condemning the state’s rules around reproductive rights, Democratic candidate for president Gavin Newsom signed the bill.
Since the U.S. Supreme Court affirmed the Texas statute permitting the vigilante-style lawsuits in 2017, Newsom has campaigned for the legislation.
An anti-abortion remark from Republican Governor Greg Abbott, who claimed that abortion deprives children of their “right to life,” was included by Newsom in the advertisement published in Texas newspapers.
In the remark, Newsom changed the term “abortion” to the phrase “gun violence,” suggesting that this was killing more children than abortion.
In response to “Texas’ twisted statute that imposed rewards on physicians and patients,” he said that the new California law was the state’s response.
An inquiry for comment from Abbott did not immediately receive a response.
The governor’s actions were “nothing short of a revocation of the inherent rights of those he was elected to serve,” according to the Firearms Policy Coalition, a California gun rights advocacy organization. They dubbed Newsom’s Texas advertisement a “twisted victory lap.” The organization issued a request for possible plaintiffs in a lawsuit intended to invalidate the new law.
Last week, Newsom ran an advertisement in Florida slamming Ron DeSantis, the state’s hardline Republican governor who, like Abbott, is expected to run for the Republican presidential nomination in 2024.
The advertisements, coupled with a recent trip to Washington, have raised rumors that Newsom will run for office. He has so far stated that he has no plans to do this.
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