California Governor Signs Gun Control Law Modeled after Texas Abortion Law

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On July 22, 2022, California Governor Gavin Newsom (D) signed a gun control law (SB 1327) modeled after a Texas abortion law. The Texas law bans abortions at about six weeks of pregnancy and allows private citizens to sue anyone who helps a person have an abortion for $10,000. The California law allows private citizens to sue people “who make, sell, transport, or distribute illegal assault weapons such as .50 caliber rifles and ghost guns, or for damages of at least $10,000 per weapon,” plus legal fees. SB1327 includes a trigger that invalidates the law if the Texas abortion law is overturned. [1] [2] [3]

SB 1327 is expected to go into effect in 2023, but may face legal challenges that could land the law in the US Supreme Court, which, though it upheld the Texas abortion law, has been recently inclined to broaden gun ownership protections. [2] [3]

The law is but one of a package of gun control laws signed by Newsom. Others include: “fresh limits on firearm advertising to minors; intensified restrictions on unregistered “ghost guns”; and a 10-year ban on firearm possession for those convicted of child abuse or elder abuse.”  [2]

Many have criticized the law. Sam Paredes, Executive Director of the Gun Owners of California, stated, “This is an absolute temper tantrum the governor is throwing because the Supreme Court chose not to impose a stay on the Texas law. Unlike abortion, the right to keep and bear arms is a constitutionally protected right.” [2]

The ACLU also opposed the law, stating it set a “dangerous legal precedent — not only undermining fundamental principles of due process, but eliminating the judiciary as a check and balance against the political branches, effectively unraveling the separation of powers doctrine…. There is no way to ‘take advantage of the flawed logic’ of the Texas law. Replicating the reprehensible Texas model only serves to legitimize and promote it, as evidenced by the copycat measures already enacted in some states, with many more pending around the country.” [3]

State Senator Bob Hertzberg (D), who crafted SB 1327, defended the law: “No one is saying you can’t have a gun. We’re just saying there’s no constitutional right to an AR-15, a .50-caliber machine gun or a ghost gun with the serial number filed off. I don’t agree with the Supreme Court, but if Texas is going to use this legal framework to harm women, then California is going to use it to save lives by taking illegal guns off the streets.” [2]

Discussion Questions

1. Should more gun control laws be enacted? If yes, what sort of laws? If no, what sort of laws are you specifically opposed to? Explain your answer(s).

2. Should private citizens be able to sue other private citizens for aiding an abortion or who make, sell, transport, or distribute illegal guns? Why or why not?

3. What is your interpretation of the Second Amendment? Does it protect the individual right to own a gun? Explain your answer(s).


1. Isabella Zavarise, “California Gov. Newsom Signs Gun Law Modeled after Texas’ Abortion Ban: ‘We’re Using Texas’ Perverse Abortion Law to Actually Save Lives,’”, July 22, 2022 

2 Shawn Hubler, “Newsom Raises His Profile With Hardball Tactics, Starting With a Gun Bill,”, July 22, 2022

3. Veronica Stracqualursi, “Newsom Signs California Gun Bill Modeled after Texas Abortion Law,”, July 22, 2022