California Governor Gavin Newsom Tuesday signed a new law which allows California residents to sue gun manufacturers if they are harmed by a gun manufacturer’s product. The law also establishes new firearms regulations and empowers the state and its local governments to sue manufactures if they do not comply.
Assembly Bill No. 1594 (AB 1594) was first introduced in the California legislature in January. A version of the bill then passed the California Senate and served as a major piece of legislation Newsom swore to sign following the Uvalde, Texas elementary school shooting. As of Tuesday, when Newsom signed the bill, AB 1594 is now law in California.
The law establishes a standard of conduct requiring firearm industry members to take reasonable precautions in ensuring safety in sales and prohibits them from manufacturing or selling abnormally dangerous products. Firearm industry members include any individual or company who manufactures, distributes, markets or sells guns-related products. Should firearm industry members violate either of these provisions, the law authorizes Californians to bring civil action against them to recover any costs or damages associated with the violation.
Newsom also signed AB 2551 into law on Tuesday. AB 2551 expands upon existing law by requiring the California Department of Justice to notify local law enforcement when someone prohibited from purchasing or owning firearms attempts to do so. The bill requires the Department of Justice to first confirm the attempted purchase and, if so, to notify local law enforcement of that person’s last known residence.