Gavin Newsom: California to Model Gun Control Measures Based on Texas Abortion Law

© Henri Sivonen/ Wikimedia CommonsCalifornia State Capitol building.
California State Capitol building. - Sputnik International, 1920, 12.12.2021
The US Supreme Court earlier in the week upheld the Lone Star State's controversial law, SB8, that prohibits abortions after a foetal heartbeat is detected, but allowed abortion providers to sue over the law.
California Governor Gavin Newsom took to Twitter on Saturday to blast the Texas abortion law but simultaneously announced that the Golden State will use it to forge gun control measures.

"I am outraged by yesterday's US Supreme Court decision allowing Texas's ban on most abortion services to remain in place", Newsom stated. "But if states can now shield their laws from review by the federal courts 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 in harm's way".

He said he had ordered his staff to work with the legislature and the attorney general to come up with a bill that could allow private citizens to file lawsuits against anyone who manufactures, sells, or distributes an assault weapon or a ghost gun kit or parts of it in California.

"If the most efficient way to keep these devastating weapons off our streets is to add the threat of private lawsuits, we should do just that", Newsom stated.

His statement comes shortly after the US Supreme Court upheld the controversial abortion law in Texas that prohibits ending a pregnancy after a foetal heartbeat can be detected (which usually happens on the sixth week, when most women are unaware of being pregnant). However, the Supreme Court ruling allowed abortion providers in Texas to sue over the state law in case they are being legally challenged for conducting the procedure after the said time period.
While the Supreme Court did not rule on whether the Texas "heartbeat" act was constitutional or not, some observers have already cast doubts on the constitutionality of Newsom's initiative. According to critics, the California governor has not taken into account that his proposal might be in violation of the Second Amendment to the US Constitution which protects the right to bear arms, while there is no such amendment protecting women's rights to abortion.
The Texas abortion law has polarised American society, with conservatives defending it as a means of protecting the lives of unborn children, and pro-choice activists slamming the legislation as a violation of women's rights to make decisions about their own bodies. US Vice President Kamala Harris has said several times that the right to abortion is "non-negotiable", while President Joe Biden asserted that there is "so much more work to be done" in states like Texas, where "women’s rights are currently under attack".
In the Golden State, pro-choice organisation Future of Abortion Council (CA FAB) rolled out recommendations to protect abortion rights and expand access to the services that some "extreme politicians in many states" seek to ban and restrict.
At the same time, laws similar to the Texas one are being enforced in other states. In Mississippi, for example, a law was introduced to ban abortions starting at 15 weeks of pregnancy, quickly facing a legal challenge in the Supreme Court. A decision on this case is yet to be made.

Gun Situation in California

According to Giffords Law Centre, an anti-gun violence group, California "has the strongest gun laws in the United States and has been a trailblazer for gun safety for the past 30 years". The group also estimates that the Golden State's gun death rate is the seventh-lowest and its crime gun export rate is the fourth-lowest in the United States.
Still, California also saw over 40 mass shootings during 2021, per Gun Violence Archive, with the May incident in San Jose being among the deadliest as it claimed 10 lives.
The Golden State additionally appears to top the list of states with the most mass shootings in the United States since 1982, according to data collected by the non-profit news organisation Mother Jones.
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