Not to be outdone by any other state – or even the feds, for that matter – California’s governor, Gavin Newsom, is trying again to target the manufacture, sale and use of guns. If he had his way, he would probably outlaw all firearms outright, but that won’t work! So, he’s doing it, or at least trying to, a little bit at a time.
The latest entry into this zoo of anti-gun legislation is AB 1594, which essentially allows lawsuits to be filed against gun makers. The new law sets up a series of restriction against the “gun industry,” and anyone who breaches those guidelines is eligible to be sued – by anyone.
Newsom has been vocal about the damage caused by violent people wielding guns in our society, and he essentially accused the gun industry of hiding from its responsibility for it. As he told the Los Angeles Times, “Gun makers must be held accountable for their role in this crisis.”
He didn’t explain exactly what he means by “their role.”
This latest law creates standards of conduct for the gun industry, including the creation of controls on the manufacture, sale and use of its products.
It isn’t much of a surprise that the reaction to the legislation is the implicit warning that it faces challenges in court because of its sweeping effect.
In addition to setting up industry controls, the law says that the industry must “take 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.”
How’s that for a mouthful of legalese?!
It’s interesting how politicians will put together a wish-list of controls in a new law without realizing (or acknowledging) the ramifications of what they are attempting to require.
The fact is that there are already laws on the federal books that prohibit this kind of action. On top of that, Sam Paredes, the director of Gun Owners of California, told The Daily Wire, “There is no question that every gun measure that the governor signs will be challenged in court.”
According to him, the only thing this law does is give the victims of crime “an opportunity to look for a deep pocket to pay for the victimization that they’ve experienced.”
And that’s really the issue here – money! Victims of gun-related crime can never fully be repaid for their tragic losses, but in our society, money helps a lot.
When you have an industry that is as deep-pocketed as the gun industry, it’s an easy target for politicians who want to look like they are “helping” victims. Since there can never be any real controls on every individual who owns a gun, it’s an impossible challenge.
The fact is, gun crimes are the result of people who use legal products to commit a crime. It’s the person who is responsible, not the product, in this case a firearm. According to Paredes, laws like this, have “zero impact on the reduction of gun crimes in California and nationwide.”
As for suing the manufacturer of a product, it’s already legal to do so if there is evidence of a breach of the law concerning the product or safety issues.
This new law by Newsom is in addition to two others he recently signed for Californians – one puts more controls on gun advertising directed at young people, and the other puts limitations on the ability of people to make guns at home.
It’s clear he is trying every means he can devise to hit the gun industry – whether his laws will hold up in a court challenge or not. The bottom line is that if a person is of criminal intent, no law will stop him. He (or she) will continue to do their illegal deeds until they are caught or stop on their own.
No politician has yet to devise a law to stop the criminal mind. If that were possible, we could have prevented and stopped all crime. Just take a look at the millions of laws on the books at every level of government – and we still have a need for more and for cops on the beat to enforce them. As for those who say “defund the police” – take a look at the crime increase in those areas that have tried it. It doesn’t work.
Paredes summed it up well and truthfully: “This law would have zero impact on the criminal misuse of firearms.” And, he added, “All of these laws only affect the law-abiding citizen.”
But they make politicians, like Newsom, feel good.
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