SACRAMENTO, Calif. (KERO) — On Friday Governor Gavin Newsom signed a controversial first-in-the-nation gun control law patterned after a Texas anti-abortion law. His action comes one month after U.S. Supreme Court's conservative justices overturned a woman's constitutional right to abortions and undermined gun control laws in states including California.
Newsom signed the bill into law that allows private citizens to bring a civil action against anyone who manufactures, distributes, transports or imports assault weapons or ghost guns, which are banned in the state. Those who sue would be awarded at least $10,000 in civil damages for each weapon, plus attorneys fees.
California Senate Bill 13-27 is modeled after a Texas law that allows private citizens to sue abortion providers or anyone who assists a pregnant person in obtaining an abortion.
During Friday's signing ceremony, Newsom argued that it's time to "act differently" in response to rights being "wiped out in real time" by red states.
"We're taking action here today, and we are stepping in and doing something perhaps is the most impactful thing we have done in decades in the state of California to advance our efforts on gun safety by getting these weapons of war, assault weapons off the streets," said Newsom.
California and New York also are scrambling to update their laws regulating the concealed carrying of firearms after the nation's high court ruled that Americans have a right to carry firearms in public for self-defense. California legislators expect to act in August on concealed carry restrictions.
But where does California now rank among states when it comes to gun laws and regulations? A report by the organization called Everytown Research and Policy has a breakdown of where states fall. According to Everytown, California ranks first in gun law strength. Texas comes in at number 34.
According to the Giffords Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence, the five states with the strictest gun laws are California, New Jersey, Connecticut, Hawaii, and Illinois. Those five with the weakest include Arkansas, Wyoming, Idaho, Missouri, and Kansas.
Currently, seven states completely ban any open carry activity. Only eight of the 50 states require that people who own firearms register their weapons with the state.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, California ranks 44th in the nation in regard to firearm deaths with a death rate of 8.5 out of 100,000. Texas ranks 6th with a rate of 14.2.
The five states with the highest death rates are Mississippi (28.6), Louisiana (26.3), Wyoming (25.9), Missouri (23.9), and Alabama (23.6). The five states with the lowest death rates are Hawaii (3.4), Massachusetts (3.7), New Jersey (5), Rhode Island (5.1), and New York (5.3).