California Governor Signs Law Allowing Gun Violence Victims to Sue ‘Irresponsible’ Firearm Manufacturers

The bill, now a law after being signed by Gov. Gavin Newsom, also requires the establishment of a "firearm industry standard of conduct" in the state.

Gavin Newsom is pictured at a podium

Image via Getty/Hans Gutknecht/MediaNews Group/Los Angeles Daily News

Gavin Newsom is pictured at a podium

California Governor Gavin Newsom has signed into law a bill that he says will allow gun violence victims to sue firearms manufacturers, saying such companies have been “shielded from the mass destruction they cause” for too long.

Assembly Bill 1594, per a press release from Newsom’s office on Tuesday, allows for individuals—as well as local governments and the state’s attorney general—to sue “irresponsible manufacturers and sellers” of guns. In short, AB 1594 was designed as an exemption-centered response to the 2005 passing of the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act.

As the Associated Press points out, the bill-made-law also calls for the establishment (starting in July of next year) of a “firearm industry standard of conduct.” The full text of the bill, available to read here, also calls for the prohibiting of the manufacturing or selling of gun-related products deemed to be “abnormally dangerous.”

Gun manufacturers & distributors have been shielded from the mass destruction they cause for too long.

Today, CA changes that.

I just signed a bill that will allow victims of gun violence to sue the makers of these deadly weapons & hold them accountable.

— Gavin Newsom (@GavinNewsom) July 12, 2022

“To the victims of gun violence and their families: California stands with you,” Newsom said of the new legislation on Tuesday. “The gun industry can no longer hide from the devastating harm their products cause. Our kids, families, and communities deserve streets free of gun violence and gun makers must be held accountable for their role in this crisis. Nearly every industry is held liable when people are hurt or killed by their products—guns should be no different.”

Fred Guttenberg, whose teen daughter Jaime was killed in Parkland school shooting in 2018, was quick to praise Newsom for signing the bill into law.

“As someone seeking justice, I truly appreciate what you are doing here,” Guttenberg said.

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