Gavin Newsom, governor of California, signed a federal bill on Tuesday that clears the way for victims of gun violence to sue irresponsible firearm manufactures.
According to Giffords Law Center, the move to tighten gun safety laws in California has the greatest policy in the United States.
“To the victims of gun violence and their families: California stands with you. The gun industry can no longer hide from the devastating harm their products cause,” Newsom said in a news release.
A 2005 federal law shields gun producers and retailers from being sued when their weapons are used in criminal activities.
The California Assembly Bill 1594 implements an exemption to the federal statute allowing gun makers or sellers to be sued for violations of state laws concerning the sale or marketing of firearms.
“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,” the governor said.
The state has invested $156 million in grants to aid more than 80 cities and local organizations implement safety programs designed according to their localities.
“Gun manufacturers & distributors have been shielded from the mass destruction they cause for too long,” Newsom said in a Twitter post that included a video of him holding up the signed bill. “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.”
Gun manufacturers & distributors have been shielded from the mass destruction they cause for too long.— Gavin Newsom (@GavinNewsom) July 12, 2022
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. pic.twitter.com/S0AlrrkhML
The bill — now a new law — “allows individuals, local governments and the California Attorney General” to take legal action against gun manufacturers and gun sellers, according to a release about the bill.
California bill marks a significant change in the legal challenges gun manufacturers may face.