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Gov. Newsom's bill to crack down on gun violence sparks controversy

Posted at 5:23 PM, Feb 18, 2022
and last updated 2022-02-18 23:45:53-05

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) — California Governor Gavin Newsom was in San Diego at the Del Mar Fairgrounds Friday to announce a controversial bill that would crack down on gun violence.

The bill models a Texas abortion law which allows Texans to sue abortion providers for performing abortions after a heartbeat is detected.

RELATED: Gov. Newsom, officials introduce Texas-style bills to curb gun violence in California

"I have no issues with guns or gun owners. None. But I have serious issues with gun violence."

This was one of four bills presented on Friday, and the one that has sparked the most debate.

Some celebrated Friday morning, who believed that this bill will bring justice to those who have lost loved ones at the hands of gun violence. Others believe that this bill is the Governor personally attacking those who believe strongly in the right to bear arms.

"This is like unbelievable," shares Rose Ann Sharp, the founder of Never Again California.

Sharp believes that this bill will bring justice and control.

"They [gun manufacturers] are going to have to reconsider how they market guns and what the organization stands for. They have had free reign for far too long," says Sharp.

However, opponents like the organization, San Diego County Gun Owners, believe that this bill is a personal attack.

Michael Schwartz, the Executive Director says, "I am not really buying that this has anything to do with justice. It really has to do with an anti-gun agenda, and they are using the victims of crime and their emotions in order to advance their political agenda."

Schwartz believes that it is hypocritical of the Governor to model a law that he is so adamantly against. Governor Newsom on Friday addressed critics by saying, "The decision was absurd, it was outrageous the Supreme Court decision."

He furthers, "But they have opened up the door, they have set the tone to enter, the rules, and we can be on the defense complaining about it or we can play by those rules and we are going to play by those rules and assert ourselves accordingly."

Assembly Bill 1594, if passed, would circumvent federal law, and allow Californians to file a civil suit against manufacturers, transporters, or distributors, to stop the spread or illegal sales of assault weapons, rifles, ghost guns, or gun kits.

Sharp believes this bill will pass, "There's no doubt in my mind this is going to happen."

However, opponents like Schwartz hope that Sacramento and the courts decide differently.

"There's really no justice in taking money away from a manufacturer that had nothing to do with the crime, and really what they are is a pawn in an agenda of a political group that is really just trying to restrict your right to keep and bear arms."

When Governor Newsom was asked the question Friday, what would he do if opponents try to overturn this bill, he said, "Bring it on, they will get crushed. Crushed."

The bill comes to light as new data from the Public Policy Institute of California found that California saw a rise of more than 500 homicides last year involving guns. That is the largest jump in state history since record-keeping began in 1960.

Governor Newsom said he believes the Supreme Court decision to allow Texans to sue abortion providers is outrageous, however, he believes by following that model for AB 1594, will either push the Supreme Court to reconsider their ruling on Texas law or point out their hypocrisy in not letting this bill pass.

"It's very very hypocritical for him to use something that he disagrees with principally, fundamentally, in order to get back at people that he disagrees with politically," shares Schwartz.

Schwartz furthers, "To squash law-abiding people and use victims, and equate us to criminals, is just flat out wrong, and history is not going to judge him kindly for it."

However proponents believe this bill is what many have been waiting for, "Everything is out of control right now, and this is going to bring justice for the families, and bring things back into control and we need it badly," says Sharp.

Governor Newsom emphasized Friday, "This is not about attacking law-abiding gun owners. This is about attacking a culture of violence that we have allowed to be perpetuated for too long."