CRPA Fights Back Against “Texas-Style” Gun Laws
Last fall when the state of Texas’ new anti-abortion law was upheld by the Supreme Court, Governor Gavin Newsom joined nearly all of the liberal left in high-pitched outrage. The debate over reproductive rights aside, the new law’s approach was novel, taking enforcement of abortion laws out of the hands of state officials and placing it in the hands of private citizens who were endowed with newfound standing to sue.
Despite his outrage, Newsom directed his staff to mimic the law’s approach in crafting gun control legislation for consideration by Sacramento lawmakers. Two such bills have now been introduced, AB 1594 (Ting) and SB 1327 (Hertzberg). AB 1594 is set for a hearing in the Assembly Judiciary Committee on April 19th, while SB 1327 awaits hearing in the Senate Public Safety Committee. CRPA opposes both bills.
With the rights of lawful gun owners already heavily restricted by a plethora of laws at all levels of government, the specter of clogging the courts with a tsunami of private litigation against manufacturers, gun shops, and indeed anyone in the “firearm industry” is truly daunting. But it gets worse. The new legal “standards” introduced by these bills are broad to the point of being incomprehensible.
How would a court determine what constitutes a “firearm-related product that is likely to create a substantial and unreasonable risk of harm to public health and safety”? Add to that environment that because the cases would take place in civil courts, the burden of proof would be lower. The result would be monumentally chilling impact on gun manufacturers, who would undoubtedly face lawsuits as spurious as they would be plentiful. And all this would put California in direct conflict with federal law that prevents firearm manufacturers from being sued in the first place.
The outcomes of this sort of legislation would be an unquestioned mess that would do NOTHING to prevent the flow of illegal guns or reduce crime in any way. But those who seek to attack “gun culture” care little about those issues to begin with.
Be sure to watch CRPA’s emails and social media in the coming weeks to join the fight!