California Set to Allow Illegal Gun Prosecutions

Spurred by Tuesday’s deadly shooting at an elementary school in Texas, California senators have approved giving people the power to prosecute those who smuggle illegal firearms, mimicking a Texas law intended to deter abortions.

Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom sought the bill as a mockery of the U.S. Supreme Court after justices gave preliminary approval to a Texas law allowing people to sue those who provide or help provide services. abortions. The California bill would automatically be struck down if the Texas law is ultimately found to be unconstitutional.

Democratic Senator Anthony Portantino pointed to the shooting in Texas, where 15 people were killed. He said California should use Texas abortion law as a model for good. “Let’s use this plan for something that protects us, not something that punishes women,” he said.

The California version would allow people to sue anyone who distributes illegal assault weapons, parts that can be used to make weapons, firearms without serial numbers or .50 caliber rifles. They would receive at least $10,000 in civil damages for each gun, plus attorneys’ fees.

The move comes in the wake of recent mass shootings including at a school in Texas, a grocery store in Buffalo, New York and elsewhere, including what police call an inter-gang shootout that killed six and injured 12 in a few blocks from the California State Capitol. last month.

Besides the political statement, supporters said the measure solves a hitherto unsolvable problem of deterring the use of homemade or unobtainable “ghost” weapons. The problem is growing rapidly even though California already has some of the strictest gun rules in the country.

“California’s rise in gun violence is not an indictment of tough laws. It’s a wake-up call for even more cautious gun laws to be passed to (deter) gun violence. illegal weapons,” Portantino said.

Gun owner organizations and even some gun control advocates have questioned the wisdom of creating what amounts to a bounty to encourage people to file civil lawsuits to punish crimes.

But only Republican Senator Andreas Borgeas spoke out against the bill, saying lawmakers should empower law enforcement to act against those who illegally possess guns. He supported other measures, such as requiring guns to have serial numbers.

“The private right of action, however, I think this bill goes too far,” he said, because it would encourage lawsuits by plaintiffs’ attorneys.

The measure passed by a 24-10 vote, with Democratic Senator Melissa Hurtado joining Republicans in opposition.

Senators approved three more gun control bills, sending them all to the state Assembly despite opposition from Republican lawmakers.

One would require schools to send parents information on the safe storage of firearms annually and immediately report threats of mass violence. But Portantino removed the most controversial provision, which would have required parents to report possession of firearms to school officials.

The second would ban gun shows on state property, with Democratic Sen. Dave Min saying the state should not encourage gun sales.

The third, also from Min, would require dealers to install safeguards to deter illegal sales and thefts of firearms, including digital CCTV systems.

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