This past Tuesday, Democratic Governor of California Gavin Newsom recently spent some time planting his name on quite a few gun measures in order to bring them into law, including one that would make it legal for lawsuits to be filed against gun manufacturers.
AB 1594, the law in question, creates a “firearm industry standard of conduct,” which includes the requirement to “[e]stablish, implement, and enforce reasonable controls” and “[t]ake reasonable precautions to ensure that the firearm industry member does not sell, distribute, or provide a firearm-related product to a downstream distributor or retailer of firearm-related products who fails to establish, implement, and enforce reasonable controls.”
If someone within the gun industry fails to go along with these new standards and many others being set up in the bills, they open themselves up to lawsuits.
“To the victims of gun violence and their families: California stands with you. The gun industry can no longer hide from the devastating harm their products cause,” stated Newsom in a release, as reported by the Los Angeles Times. “Our kids, families and communities deserve streets free of gun violence and gun makers must be held accountable for their role in this crisis. Nearly every industry is held liable when people are hurt or killed by their products — guns should be no different.”
Newsome also chose to pen his name onto two other bills this past month, one which seeks to curb the advertising of guns towards young people, and a second that tries to insert limitations on the power of American citizens to create guns at home. Both of the new laws were slated to go into effect immediately, while the new law concerning lawsuits has a waiting period and will go into effect on the 1st of July 2023.
Dave Workman, a spokesperson for the Second Amendment Foundation, stated that this most recent law reads like an “issue that shouldn’t really go anywhere because of the federal statute that prohibits this kind of legal action.”
The executive director of Gun Owners of California, Sam Paredes, stated: “There is no question that every gun measure that the governor signs will be challenged in court.”
“It is already legal for people to file a lawsuit against any business, whether it’s a gun-related business or not, if they have committed a crime in the sales and marketing of their guns or the manufacturing of their products,” he went on.
Paredes went on to state that proponents of the new law know that the suits will fail to win in any court, “but they have a concentrated effort to try to bankrupt the firearms industry by requiring them to defend themselves in court, which, as you know, is a very expensive proposition even when you win.”
When speaking about the law through the lens of helping cut down on gun violence, Parades was quite sure, saying, “This law would have absolutely zero impact on the criminal misuse of firearms at all.”
Paredes claimed that all this law does is allow for any victims to try and get “an opportunity to look for a deep pocket to pay for the victimization that they’ve experienced,” and the “deep pocket” is entirely unrelated to any crimes committed. “It’s the manufacturers of lawful products that were misused by a criminal to create victims. So this has zero impact on the reduction of gun crimes in California and nationwide,” he continued.
On the topic of the other two bills recently signed by the governor, Paredes explained that it is entirely legal for a lawful citizen to make one’s own gun in every state. He highlighted that “all of these laws only affect the law-abiding citizens. No criminal will be prohibited in any way, prevented in any way, from manufacturing their own gun out of nothing.”