NSSF Challenges CA Law Promoting Lawsuits vs. Gun Makers


NSSF Challenges CA Law Promoting Lawsuits vs. Gun Makers

The National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF) is challenging California’s firearm industry liability law, AB 1594, passed in 2022 and signed into law by Gov. Gavin Newsom. The law, which goes into effect on July 23, 2023, encourages civil suits against the firearm industry for the illegal actions of criminals with guns. This law is an affront to the U.S. Constitution and is an attempt to circumvent the will of the U.S. Congress when it passed the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act (PLCAA).

The litigation, NSSF v. Bonta, was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California. The NSSF now seeks a preliminary injunction to halt enforcement of the unconstitutional law as challenges to AB 1594 progress through the courts.

“California’s General Assembly and Governor Newsom creat spectacle of defying the U.S. Supreme Court’s Bruen decision when this bill was passed and enacted,” said Lawrence G. Keane, NSSF Senior Vice President and General Counsel. “This law is openly hostile to the firearm industry and also defiant to Congress, the U.S. Supreme Court and the Constitution. Governor Newsom [seeks] to exert California’s radical gun control agenda across the United States. NSSF will defend our Constitutionally-protected industry against the broadsides of this extremist agenda.”

California AB 1594

NSSF’s challenge explains that AB 1594, misleadingly titled the “Firearm Industry Responsibility Act,” is a law that was draft before the Bruen decision and signed just weeks after the Supreme Court published the landmark ruling. Rather than re-examining the legislation to ensure it complied with Supreme Court precedent, Gov. Newsom forged ahead, challenging the ruling when he signed it.

The law bans the manufacture, sale, and marketing of firearms the state deems “abnormally dangerous,” regardless if they are commonly owne. It also encourages civil lawsuits by a person who has suffered harm in California, the Attorney General, or city or county attorneys against a firearm industry member for the harm caused by the criminal misuse of a firearm by a remote third party. This is expressly prohibite by PLCAA. The law unconstitutionally invades the sovereignty of sister states by directly regulating lawful commerce occurring entirely and wholly outside the state of California in violation of the Commerce Clause and our system of federalism.

The NSSF argues that AB 1594 not only infringes on Second Amendment rights but chills First Amendment rights by restricting advertising of Constitutionally-protect products that are lawfully produce and sold — even when that advertising takes place outside of California’s borders.

California’s AB 1594 is clearly unconstitutional on several fronts.

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Tags: AB 1594, Gavin Newsom, Gun Control, Litigation, NSSF, Unconstitutional Law

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