California Guv announces new package of gun safety laws…

(MENAFN-IANS)

Los Angeles, Feb 19 (IANS) California Governor Gavin Newsom announced a significant new package of gun safety laws that includes residents suing the gun industry for damages caused by their products when state laws are violated.

On Friday, Newsom shared his plans on gun safety measures in San Diego County alongside California Attorney General Rob Bonta, as well as lawmakers and local officials, Xinhua news agency reports.

“It’s time to go on the offensive with new measures that empower individuals to hold irresponsible and negligent actors in the gun industry to account, crack down on shameful advertising that targets our children and more,” Newsom said at Del Mar Fairgrounds, where the sale of guns and ammunition was banned under legislation he signed into law in 2019.

“This is not about attacking law-abiding gun owners – this is about stopping the tragic violence ravaging communities across the country,” he added.

According to the governor’s office, a bill will be introduced Friday by California State Senator Robert Hertzberg that would allow private citizens to sue anyone who manufactures, distributes, transports, imports into the state, or sells firearms. assault rifles, .50 BMG rifles, gun ghosts or ghost weapon kits.

The bill would allow people to seek a court order to stop the spread of these weapons and recover up to $10,000 in damages for each weapon, plus attorney fees.

Meanwhile, another bill will be introduced in the state legislature by Assembly Members Philip Ting, Mike Gipson and Christopher Ward, allowing individuals and the California Attorney General to sue manufacturers and gun dealers for damage caused by their product.

In 2005, Congress passed the Lawful Arms Trade Protection Act, which protects gun manufacturers and dealers from civil lawsuits when crimes are committed using the guns they produce.

But the new California assembly bill uses an exemption from federal law that allows manufacturers or dealers of weapons to be sued for violating state laws regarding the sale or marketing of weapons. fire.

“Almost every industry in the United States can be held accountable for what their products do, but the firearms industry is not held to the same standards. The financial repercussions could finally push them to be more responsible by improving their practices and adhering to California’s strict gun laws,” said Assemblyman Ting.

“The United States represents less than 5% of the world’s population, but we represent almost a third of the mass killings in the world,” said Assemblyman Ward.

“This is a public health crisis that the federal government has still failed to address. California must take action and hold accountable irresponsible, reckless and negligent gun manufacturers, distributors and sellers.

California banned the manufacture and sale of many assault weapons for decades.

However, a federal judge struck down that ban last June, ruling it unconstitutional and angering state Democratic leaders by comparing the popular AR-15 rifle to a Swiss army knife as ‘good for home and life. battle “.

California’s ban remained in place while the state appealed, but the June ruling and Texas abortion law infuriated state politicians, most of whom support the right to abortion and the prohibition of firearms.

“If states can now protect their laws from federal court scrutiny that compare assault weapons to Swiss Army knives, then California will use that authority to protect people’s lives where Texas used it to put women at risk,” Newsom said in a statement last December.

–IANS

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