Source: Santa Barbara News Press
In the aftermath of a massacre at a Texas elementary school earlier this week, California lawmakers have advanced several pieces of legislation in an effort to address and prevent gun violence.
Among those measures was a bill that would allow California’s attorney general and victims of gun violence to sue gun makers and distributors who are “irresponsible, reckless, and negligent in the sale or marketing of their products in California.”
Using an exception in federal law, AB 1594 requires gun makers and sellers to “enforce reasonable controls” and “reasonable precautions” to prevent their weapons from being sold to a downstream distributor who fails to enforce precautions. Failure to comply with this “firearm standard of conduct” would be cause for civil action, according to the bill.
“It’s not fair that almost every industry in the United States can be held liable for what their products do, yet the gun industry is exempt from that, providing no incentive to follow our laws,” Assemblymember Phil Ting said in a statement Thursday. “Hitting their bottom line may finally compel them to take every step possible to prevent illegal sales and theft of firearms to reduce gun violence.”