During a signing ceremony at Santa Monica College, the site of a mass shooting in 2013, Newsom hailed the measure as a way of putting the GOP on defense. The bill permits citizens to sue individuals who circulate illegal weapons, components that can be used to make “ghost guns” without serial numbers, and .50-caliber rifles.
“We’re sick and tired of being on the defense in this movement,” he exclaimed during the ceremony, per the Associated Press. “It’s time to put them on the defense. You cannot sell, you cannot manufacture, [and] you cannot transfer these illegal weapons of war and mass destruction in the state of California.”
“If you do, there are 40 million people that can collect $10,000 from you and attorney fees for engaging in that illegal activity,” he added.
The bill, SB 1327, is modeled after a Texas law enacted last year that prohibits abortions after a fetal heartbeat is detected and enables Texans to sue providers of illegal abortions. Democratic-leaning groups challenged the Texas law in court, but the Supreme Court ultimately refused to nix it.
Newsom acknowledged the gun law would be challenged in court and insinuated that it would be inconsistent for the high court to scrap California’s law while leaving the Texas abortion law unscathed.
“We believe this will be litigated in the Supreme Court, and we believe the Supreme Court will be challenged. Because if there’s any principle left whatsoever — and that’s an open-ended question — with this Supreme Court, there is no way they can deny us the right to move in this direction,” he said, per CNN.
A provision in the bill, which had been introduced in the state legislature back in February, states the law would become “inoperative upon invalidation” of the Texas abortion law and that California would have the law “repealed on Jan. 1 of the following year.”
Recently, Newsom took out a $30,000 ad buy in three Texas newspapers, parroting a quote on abortion from Gov. Greg Abbott (R-TX) to promote California’s stance on gun control. The ad swapped out the word “abortion” in Abbott’s quote for “gun violence” to contrast the two juggernaut states’ differences on abortion and guns.
“If Texas can ban abortion and endanger lives, California can ban deadly weapons of war and save lives. If Gov. Abbott truly wants to protect the right to life, we urge him to follow California’s lead,” a snippet at the bottom of the ad proclaims.
The California governor has been building his progressive portfolio in recent weeks, fueling speculation that he has national ambitions.
Reporting by The Washington Examiner.