How California plans to copy Texas abortion tactics for gun control


California Gov. Gavin Newsom announced Saturday that his administration will push for a new measure, modeled after Texas’s controversial abortion ban, to limit the sale of assault weapons and “ghost guns” in the state.

The proposed bill, according to a press release from Newsom, would allow Californians to sue “anyone who manufactures, distributes, or sells an assault weapon or ghost gun kit or parts” for damages — the same injunction-skirting mechanism Texas has used to ban all abortions after six weeks, which has so far been permitted by the Supreme Court.

“If that’s the precedent then we’ll let Californians sue those who put ghost guns and assault weapons on our streets,” Newsom said in a tweet Saturday. “If TX can ban abortion and endanger lives, CA can ban deadly weapons of war and save lives.”

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Already, SB 8 has resulted in a number of copycat bills. According to Forbes, state legislatures in Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, and Ohio have all introduced similar abortion bans, and even more could be on the way.

The proposed California legislation, however, would be the first measure to use a SB 8-style enforcement mechanism for a different goal. Newsom’s proposal would empower private citizens to sue the manufacturers of assault rifles and so-called ghost guns — firearms made from kits, which are difficult to track because they don’t have serial numbers like those that come from licensed companies and are sold by licensed dealers. Ghost gun kits are sold online, are easy to assemble, require no background check to buy, and are impossible for authorities to trace, as the New York Times’s Annie Karni explained in April.


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