Controversial California Gun Law Goes into Effect

(Photo: Newsom/

California Gov. Gavin Newsom is fighting a battle with Texas legislators over abortion rights by calling for more gun control in his own state. 

While SB 1327 passed this summer, U.S. District Court Judge Roger Benitez, a federal judge in San Diego, blocked one of its major provisions last month.

Similar to the fee-shifting provision in Texas’ SB 8, SB 1327 would have required opponents of gun control, who try to sue the state to overturn certain restrictions on firearms, to pay for all court costs unless they win on all counts. 

Other than that single, fee-shifting provision, SB 1327 went into effect this week. 

SEE ALSO: Gavin Newsom on AR-15 Designed for Kids: ‘This is VILE’

“Our message to the criminals spreading illegal weapons in California is simple: you have no safe harbor here in the Golden State,” said Governor Newsom in a press release on his website back in July of last year.

“While the Supreme Court rolls back reasonable gun safety measures, California continues adding new ways to protect the lives of our kids,” he continued. “California will use every tool at its disposal to save lives, especially in the face of an increasingly extreme Supreme Court.”

What Does SB 1327 Entail? 

The bill would allow Californians to sue anyone who manufactures, distributes, transports, imports, sells, offers, or even loans a .50 caliber BMG rifle or a firearm without a serial number before a crime is committed with the weapon in question. 

Existing law provides that, with certain exceptions, any person who, within this state, manufactures or causes to be manufactured, distributes, transports, or imports into the state, keeps for sale, or offers or exposes for sale, or who gives or lends any assault weapon or any .50 BMG rifle, as defined, is guilty of a felony. Existing law also provides that, subject to certain exceptions, a person, corporation, or dealer who sells, supplies, delivers, or gives possession of a firearm precursor part, as defined, is guilty of a crime.

This bill would create a private right of action for any person against any person who, within this state, (1) manufactures or causes to be manufactured, distributes, transports, or imports into the state, or causes to be distributed or transported or imported into the state, keeps for sale or offers or exposes for sale, or gives or lends any firearm lacking a serial number required by law, assault weapon, or .50 BMG rifle; (2) purchases, sells, offers to sell, or transfers ownership of any firearm precursor part that is not a federally regulated firearm precursor part; or (3) is a licensed firearms dealer and sells, supplies, delivers, or gives possession or control of a firearm to any person under 21 years of age, all subject to certain exceptions, as specified.

This bill will not target consumers who purchase “legal guns” in California. However, those who purchase so-called “ghost gun kits” or precursor parts that are not federally regulated could be held liable if a crime is committed with the weapon. The law could also punish those who engage in activity that aids in violating gun laws – even if the participant didn’t know they were helping. 

For crimes committed by people under 21, manufacturers and providers will be the only ones that could be legally held liable in those cases. This provision means that parents of school shooters could be held liable for their child’s actions.  

Larry Keane, a spokesman for the National Shooting Sports Foundation, stressed in an LA Times article that lawsuits under SB 1327 were limited to illegal conduct in California. 

Keane says that legal gun manufacturers in Connecticut who distribute through Louisianna to a retailer in Nevada where they sell it in-state are not subject to the penalties of SB 1327. 

Who has the Right to Sue?

SB 1327 allows any resident of the state to sue anyone involved in violating state gun laws from within California without showing damages to themselves or even to the actual victims of the crime. According to the new law, any “act or omission” that violates SB 1327 makes “all residents of, and visitors to, this state,” an injured party.

SEE ALSO: California Gov. Gavin Newsom’s Rap Lyrics Hypocrisy

Essentially, those with no connection to a violation of SB 1327 just have to prove the incident took place to file suit. Based on the language of the bill, there doesn’t have to be physical or financial damages to have a valid lawsuit. 

The law awards up to $10,000 in damages per weapon if violations are proven in court.

Newsom’s Plan

While Newsom has been vocally critical of the gun lobby, he has openly admitted that this move was more of a way to influence SCOTUS to reject similar laws in Texas. He even praised Judge Benitez for declaring fee-shifting to be unconstitutional. 

“I want to thank Judge Benitez. We have been saying all along that Texas’ anti-abortion law is outrageous,” Governor Newsom said in a statement on his website last month.

“Judge Benitez just confirmed it is also unconstitutional. 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. There is no longer any doubt that Texas’ cruel anti-abortion law should also be struck down.”

The bill calls for total repeal if and when the Texas law gets struck down.

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About the author: Dante Graves Dante is a movie and comic book junkie who loves a good explosion. His passion for politics and journalism led him here. Dante’s only aim is to be truthful and factual with his reporting.

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  • Hondo January 19, 2023, 11:58 am

    Damn Newscum is a just a greasy little turd of a used car salesman, douche needs to just FO already.

  • Eric January 6, 2023, 6:52 pm

    Not a lot of comment or thought about the Texas angle. California tried to empower private citizen busy bodies to sue gun makers in the same manner Texas empowered its private citizen busy bodies to sue abortion providers.

    I don’t believe it’s appropriate in either case. I hope Benitez’ ruling in California will help to shut down Texas’ wrong headed anti abortion law.

  • Rick January 6, 2023, 3:13 pm


  • jon b January 6, 2023, 2:03 pm

    Sauce for the Goose is sauce for the Gander.

  • Maxgun56 January 6, 2023, 10:57 am

    F California, that state could fall off and slide into the ocean and it would not bother me.
    like they say it’s just a big bowl of cereal: What’s not fruits and nuts is mostly FLAKES

    • Rick January 6, 2023, 3:16 pm

      and i live here,they make a new law every year,that does nothing to protect the victim.Piss on Nusom!!

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