California Gov. Gavin Newsom Plans to Mirror Texas’ Anti-Abortion Law to Ban Assault Weapons


California leadership could soon be thanking Texas for sharing its legislative blueprints.

On Friday, the U.S. Supreme Court allowed the Lone Star State’s abortion ban to stay in effect. (Providers can still challenge the law in court.) The decision so “outraged” California Gov. Gavin Newsom that he announced plans to use Texas’ legal mechanism for a ban on assault-style weapons.

Newsom, a Democrat, said if Texas can “endanger lives” through its abortion ban, then California should be allowed to ban “deadly weapons of war and save lives.”

“If states can now shield their laws from review by the federal courts that compare assault weapons to Swiss Army knives, then California will use that authority to protect people’s lives, where Texas used it to put women in harm’s way,” he wrote in a statement.

Under Texas’ anti-abortion law, which bans the procedure after around six weeks, private citizens can sue anyone who “aids and abets” an abortion, including providers and individuals. Those who succeed in their lawsuit stand to be awarded $10,000.

Lawmakers countrywide have proposed similar anti-abortion measures, including in Alabama and Arkansas. Now, some experts say other states may attempt to repurpose the legal mechanism in Texas’ abortion ban for a host of other issues.

Certain Texas conservative lawmakers shot back at Newsom following his announcement. In a tweet, Republican Tyler state Rep. Matt Schaefer seemed to poke fun at California, which has reportedly lost residents who’ve moved to Texas.

“Texas Realtor of the Year Award goes to California Gov. Gavin Newsom!” Schaefer wrote.

Gov. Greg Abbott used Newsom’s announcement to remind everyone he’s up for reelection. He warned constituents that Democratic candidate Beto O’Rourke would similarly ban assault weapons.

“This is exactly what Beto would do if elected Governor of Texas,” Abbott said in a tweet. “I won’t let that happen. Texas is a pro-Second Amendment state — and will stay that way.”

“This is a dangerous precedent to come up with a scheme that encourages neighbors to spy on neighbors, and complete strangers.” – Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins

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Other liberal-led states have proposed legislation that would flip Texas’ Heartbeat Act on its head.

In September, a Chicago Democratic lawmaker filed The EXpanding Abortion Services (TEXAS) Act, which would allow those who commit sexual or domestic assaults, or anyone who causes an unplanned pregnancy, to be sued for at least $10,000.

Meanwhile, The New York Times reported earlier this month that the Supreme Court appears ready to uphold a Mississippi law that bans abortions after 15 weeks. Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins notes that the Mississippi case will determine whether Roe v. Wade will remain the law of the land under Trump-appointed justices.

Regardless of whether Roe stays, the Texas abortion ban has attempted to make it financially ruinous for anyone to assist a woman in terminating a pregnancy, Jenkins said. It’s inevitable that if these “schemes” are allowed to stand, people will use them to further their policy viewpoint.

“This is a dangerous precedent to come up with a scheme that encourages neighbors to spy on neighbors, and complete strangers, to find a way to make a quick buck off of someone else’s most personal decisions,” he said.

Texas’ abortion law “absolutely” sets a precedent for allowing private citizens to become enforcers over public laws, said Dr. Kimi King, a political science professor at the University of North Texas. “And that’s what the concern is,” she said, “because you are now trying to avoid your sovereign responsibility as a government by allowing private enforcement, and some would say vigilantes who can enforce the law as they see fit.”

Looking at the way the Texas and Mississippi cases have been treated together by the court, it looks like it may be getting ready to do a couple things, King said. In the Texas case, it could be gearing up to strike down the enforcement mechanism without reaching the substance of what the law is trying to do. In the Mississippi case, it’ll send a signal that the viability standard, which came from Planned Parenthood v. Casey, isn’t sacred and can be breached.

“It is that viability standard of Planned Parenthood,” she said. “Everybody talks about overturning Roe v. Wade, but really, it’s just this issue of nibbling back to earlier and earlier periods in the pregnancy when it can be regulated.”

Of course, liberal lawmakers statewide have been highly critical of the Texas Heartbeat Act. Dallas state Rep. Jasmine Crockett said she applauds Democrats who recognize that “we are in extreme times.”

It’ll be interesting to see the response to Newsom’s proposed law if Texas’ anti-abortion law is allowed to remain in place, she said. The Supreme Court would have to explain why it allowed gun legislation to be halted as it went through the process, but not the abortion ban.

It’s never a bad day when guardrails are constructed around something as dangerous as firearms, Crockett added. “The fact that the state of Texas decided that they wanted to do less regulating of guns and more regulating of uteruses tells us everything that we need to know,” she said.

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One thought on “California Gov. Gavin Newsom Plans to Mirror Texas’ Anti-Abortion Law to Ban Assault Weapons”

  1. Only an idiot would call the AR 15 an assault weapon. It just looks like one. Its only a puny .223 caliber. No self respecting soldier would use an AR 15 in combat.



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