Newsom says he will use Texas abortion law tactics to restrict assault weapons

California Gov. Gavin Newsom said he plans to use the same tactic as Texas’ abortion law to target assault rifle sales after the Supreme Court declined to block enforcement of the law.

Newsom said in a statement Saturday that he has directed his staff to collaborate with the Legislature and Attorney General Rob Bonta to draft a bill that would allow private citizens to sue “anyone who manufactures, distributes, or sells an assault weapon or ghost gun kit or parts in the State of California.”

“If states can shield their laws from review by federal courts, then CA will use that authority to help protect lives,” Newsom said on Twitter.

The Supreme Court recently ruled that abortion providers in Texas can proceed with lawsuits challenging S.B. 8, the country’s most restrictive abortion law, which bans the procedure after about six weeks of pregnancy. But the justices declined to block enforcement of the law while court battles continues, so the law remains in effect.

The ruling was a narrow victory for abortion clinics. Texas had sought to make the law nearly impossible to challenge in federal court, arguing that abortion providers could not contest it in advance and had to wait until they were sued for violating it.

The court also dismissed a separate lawsuit brought by the Justice Department that challenged Texas’ law. And it narrowed the field of possible defendants that can be sued in any lawsuits that go forward.

Newsom said he was “outraged.”

“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.

“If that’s the precedent then we’ll let Californians sue those who put ghost guns and assault weapons on our streets,” Newsom wrote in a separate tweet.