Holding the Gun Industry Accountable
Buffalo. Uvalde. Highland Park. The mass shootings over the last few months have been tough.
But now, victims of gun violence in California and their families may have some recourse, as a result of the Governor signing my bill today, AB 1594, The Firearm Industry Accountability Act. Beginning July 2023, they - along with the Attorney General and local governments - will be able to sue gun manufacturers, importers and dealers for the harms their products caused, as a result of failing to follow California's already strict gun laws.
Despite the 2005 federal Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act (PLCAA) that gives the gun industry near immunity from civil lawsuits, I believe states should have jurisdiction over consequences when their own laws aren't followed. The financial damages that will hit the firearms industry's bottom line may finally compel them to act more responsibly.
I'm grateful for the help of the Brady Campaign's Loren Lieb, who tried to sue the gun industry for a deadly 1999 Southern California day care shooting that injured her son and left him with lifelong trauma. While her lawsuit went nowhere because of PLCCA, she has dedicated her life to making communities safer and has testified in support of AB 1594 during the legislative process.
I've already championed the expansion of California's red flag law and requirement of a safety device with every firearm sale. With gun violence now the leading cause of death among kids and teens in the United States, I see no better argument for stronger gun safety legislation. I'm proud that in California we have leaders that work to prevent senseless deaths, and I'm committed to continuing efforts to help stop this epidemic.