Judge strikes down California gun law, Newsom supports ruling

December 20, 2022

Gov. Gavin Newsom


A federal judge struck down a California gun law modeled after after a Texas abortion measure that allows Californians to sue those who make, sell, transport or distribute guns that are illegal in the Golden State. [Politico]

The ruling may lead to an extended court battle, something California Gov. Gavin Newsom appears to have been seeking.

After the U.S. Supreme Court in January ruled in favor of Texas’s ban on most abortion services, Newsom directed his administration to work with the California Legislature to draft a bill that would allow private citizens to sue anyone who manufactures, distributes, transports, imports into the state or sells assault weapons, .50 BMG rifles, ghost guns or ghost gun kits. Sen. Robert Hertzberg (D-Van Nuys) introduced the legislation, SB 1327, in February and Newsom signed it into law in July.

SB 1327 allows Californians to sue anyone who manufactures assault weapons, firearms without serial numbers or .50 BMG rifles in California — and to collect up to $10,000 in damages for doing so. Likewise, residents will be allowed to sue anyone who sells, transports or distributes such weapons, or the precursor parts to such firearms, in California.

Judge Roger Benitez issued an injunction against SB 1327. Benitez, who is based in San Diego, has previously struck down other California gun regulations. Newsom has ridiculed him for doing so.

Following the latest ruling, however, Newsom is thanking Benitez.

“I want to thank Judge Benitez. We have been saying all along that Texas’ anti-abortion law is outrageous. Judge Benitez just confirmed it is also unconstitutional,” Newsom said in a statement Monday. “The provision in California’s law that he struck down is a replica of what Texas did, and his explanation of why this part of SB 1327 unfairly blocks access to the courts applies equally to Texas’ SB 8.”

Benitez’s ruling includes remarks made by Newsom about the Texas abortion law, underscoring the ties between the two laws.

“‘It is cynical. It is an abomination. It is outrageous and objectionable. There is no dispute that it raises serious constitutional questions,’” Benitez wrote at the start of his ruling, quoting Newsom on the Texas law as evidence that by implication, the same is true of California’s law.

Benitez argues the California law goes further than the Texas one, though that may not be enough to shield the Texas measure from judicial scrutiny. Newsom has dared the United States Supreme Court to nullify California’s gun rules after allowing the Texas abortion restrictions to stand.

“The question is whether they are complete and abject hypocrites and frauds if they reject our bill that’s modeled after that abortion bill as it relates to private right of action to go after assault weapons,” Newsom said last year.

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So to understand you right Carloada; your argument is that it is OK for legislatures to structure laws that bypass judicial review because of some unspoken hierarchy of laws? We really only care about “checks and balances” the court offers on the important stuff – like Amendments? Everything thing else- 2 Branches!! Wow.

The Texas law can be “challenged” at SCOTUS LEVEL when the state of CA argues this case. The Texas ruling will be at the heart of any argument made before the court. California will argue our law is STRUCTURALLY the same as the Texas law the SCOTUS previously ruled in favor of and dare them to rule otherwise. The SCOTUS can: Rule in favor of CA and support their earlier ruling (law goes into effect), or reverse themselves and acknowledge their mistake with Texas, and or lastly look for nuance to split the baby somehow. Kind of like you are attempting to do.

24 billion in the red Newsom loses again….

I think it’s the CA taxpayers and law abiding residents that are losing.

Gavin doesn’t know that one is protected by the Second Amendment and the other isn’t even mentioned by the Constitution…

It’s never a good idea to ridicule a seated judge even if you’re Governor.

He should read the constitution, particularly the 2A section. More waste of our tax dollars and resources.

I think he has. This law is intended to circumvent the Constitution. It removes the “State” (Federal – State Government) altogether from the equation. It purposely uses private entities (citizens—and LAWYERS) as the enforcement mechanism precisely to avoid any scrutiny by the court. Just like Texas has done, and SCOTUS has approved, with respect to abortion. Governor Yoga Pants was hoping to get this ruled unconstitutional. He now has a vehicle to challenge the Texas ruling in the SCOTUS.

The actual law or right infringed upon doesn’t matter; 1st, 2nd, 3rd, Administrative, or State. The issue is; can a law be purposely written by a legislative body (Texas – Ca) to exclude any future review of the law’s application by a court?

I think you agreed that removing the Third Branch of Government (Courts) from scrutinizing laws limiting 2A are patently unconstitutional. Is 2A special, ranking higher than all the other amendments and laws, making THIS law different? Nope.

Arguing that courts should be removed from scrutinizing either one of the other 2 Branches of Government goes against what our Framer’s built. That is the constitutional point Yoga Pants wants make on your behalf.

While you do bring up good points, making laws to circumvent the Bill Of Rights, the bedrock of the Constitution, is far different than circumventing abortion laws…which were never in the Constitution.