California Gov. Gavin Newsom signed a first-of-its-kind gun law on Friday that will award at least $10,000 to residents that can successfully sue people who sell, manufacture or distribute assault weapons and ghost guns across the state.
The controversial new bill is a swipe at Texas’ anti-abortion law that allows private citizens to sue anyone who helps a woman obtain an illegal abortion in the Lone Star state.
“Our message to the criminals spreading illegal weapons in California is simple: you have no safe harbor here in the Golden State,” Newsom said in a statement.
“California will use every tool at its disposal to save lives, especially in the face of an increasingly extreme Supreme Court.”
The signing of the bill comes a month after the US Supreme Court handed down two landmark decisions that undermined gun control laws in states, including California and New York, and overturned abortion rights.
The new law allows private citizens in California to sue those who distribute illegal assault weapons, parts that can be used to build weapons, guns without serial numbers, or .05 caliber rifles.
The residents could be awarded at least $10,000 in civil damages for each weapon, plus attorneys fees.
“While the Supreme Court rolls back reasonable gun safety measures, California continues adding new ways to protect the lives of our kids,” Newsom said.
The Democrat, who has been pushing for the law since last year, signed the legislation on the same day he ran $30,000 worth of full-page advertisements in three Texas newspapers slamming the state’s anti-abortion policies.
In the ads, Newsom showed an anti-abortion quote by Republican Gov. Greg Abbott that said abortion cost children their “right to life.”
Newsom replaced the word abortion with the phrase “gun violence.”
In response to the ads, a spokeswoman for Gov. Abbott said: “Governor Newsom should focus on all the jobs and businesses that are leaving California and coming to Texas.”
A day earlier, Newsom signed eight other gun laws that add to California’s already strict regulations, including new measures requiring schools to periodically inform parents about the safe storage of firearms and barring anyone from making any guns with a 3D printer without obtaining a state-issued license.
With Post wires