Gun Laws

Gov. Gavin Newsom Attacks Texas Abortion Ban with New Gun Law and Full-Page Ads

The California governor used the Lone Star state’s strict anti-abortion language for new gun law.
California Governor Gavin Newsom speaks during a news conference on gun legislation Friday July 22 2022 at Santa Monica...
California Governor Gavin Newsom speaks during a news conference on gun legislation Friday, July 22, 2022 at Santa Monica College, where five people were shot and killed in 2013 by a gunman. (Photo by Hans Gutknecht/MediaNews Group/Los Angeles Daily News via Getty Images)MediaNews Group/Los Angeles Daily News via Getty Images

California Gov. Gavin Newsom modeled a new California gun law after Texas's abortion ban, in a stinging rebuke to Texas Gov. Greg Abbott.

The California governor signed a bill into law on Friday that would allow private citizens to file a lawsuit against those making, selling, transporting, or distributing illegal guns. The law's structure resembles that of Texas's restrictive abortion ban—SB 8—which permits private citizens to sue anyone who “aids or abets” abortion procedures after a heartbeat is detected. Like the Texas law, which would cost abortion providers $10,000, the California law would cost gun manufacturers $10,000 per illegal firearm.

Ahead of signing the legislation, Newsom took out full-page ads in three Texas newspapers, using Abbott's own words against him and replacing “abortion” with “gun violence” and “Texas” with “California.” The ads read: “Our Creator endowed us with the right to life. And yet... children lose their right to life every year because of gun violence. In California, we work to save those lives.

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“Our message to the criminals spreading illegal weapons in California is simple: you have no safe harbor here in the Golden State. While the Supreme Court rolls back reasonable gun safety measures, California continues adding new ways to protect the lives of our kids. California will use every tool at its disposal to save lives, especially in the face of an increasingly extreme Supreme Court,” Newsom said in a statement.

This law comes in the wake of the Supreme Court's ruling earlier this month that would expand gun rights, allowing Americans to carry guns in public for self-defense.

Over the Fourth of July weekend, Newsom also targeted another prominent Republican, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, in television commercials. “Freedom is under attack in your state,” Newsom said in the ad. 

“Republican leaders – they’re banning books, making it harder to vote, restricting speech in classrooms, even criminalizing women and doctors. I urge all of you to join the fight, or join us in California, where we still believe in freedom.” The commercial served as a jab at Florida's increasingly hostile stance on LGBTQ+ rights and abortion rights.