Home>Articles>Firearm Bill Modeled After Texas Heartbeat Abortion Bill Passes Sen. Judiciary Committee

State Senator Robert M. Hertzberg. (Photo: Kevin Sanders for California Globe)

Firearm Bill Modeled After Texas Heartbeat Abortion Bill Passes Sen. Judiciary Committee

‘We are trying to create the greatest chilling effect we can’

By Evan Symon, April 6, 2022 5:44 pm

A bill that would allow California residents to file civil lawsuits against firearm manufacturers, distributors, importers, and sellers of illegal firearms passed the Senate Judiciary Committee on Tuesday.

Senate Bill 1327, authored by Senator Robert Hertzberg (D-Van Nuys), specifically notes that those illegal firearms include firearms lacking a serial number when required by law, assault weapons, .50 BMG rifles, or firearm precursor parts such as those used to construct ghost guns.

As SB 1327 is modeled on the Texas “Heartbeat” abortion law that was passed last year allowing Texas citizens to sue abortion providers if they perform an abortion after a heartbeat is detected, usually around six weeks. With the ability to sue in place, individuals can enforce the bill rather than rely state enforcement with penalties and fines. Once sued, abortion providers and performers in Texas face a state minimum of $10,000 per abortion, plus attorney’s fees.

SB 1327 would follow the same pattern, automatically putting in a state minimum of $10,000 per weapon, plus attorney’s fees. The bill is also tied directly to Texas’ law based on constitutionality. If the abortion law in Texas is struck down due to being unconstitutional, California’s firearm bill would be as well and would be repealed the next year on January 1st. Finally, the bill notes, “all statutes regulating or prohibiting firearms shall not be construed to repeal any other statute regulating or prohibiting firearms, in whole or in part, unless the statute specifically states that it is repealing another statute,” essentially keeping all of California’s other firearm regulations and laws in place if the law goes down.

Since being introduced in February, the bill has proved to be extremely controversial. While written by Hertzberg, Governor Gavin Newsom was largely behind the bill language, specifically advising his administration and lawmakers to model the firearm legislation on Texas’ abortion bill and tying the legality of both bills together.
Initially expected to face much opposition due to questions about the bills legality and constitutionality, Sunday’s shooting in Sacramento softened attitudes toward the bill going into the vote, with many opposing it instead focusing on the civil rights violations aspects of the bill rather than the bill as a whole.
“The shooting here caught everyone off guard, especially the Senators getting ready to speak out about the bill during the Committee meeting on Tuesday,” explained “Dana,” a state Capitol staffer, to the Globe on Wednesday. “Speeches and arguments had to be changed or altered. No one can risk looking insensitive to a mass shooting, especially one where innocent people died within walking distance of the the Capitol.”
Supporters of the bill on Tuesday praised the bill clearing the first major hurdle, with many tying in the events of Sunday into why SB 1327 should ultimately pass.
“This week’s unconscionable act of gun violence is a tragic reminder of the lives that are at stake in this crisis that endangers communities across the country,” said Governor Newsom in a statement. “Today, the Legislature took an important step towards holding the gun industry accountable for mass shootings in our communities involving illegal firearms and protecting residents, utilizing the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling that allowed private citizens in Texas the ability to sue abortion providers. So long as the Supreme Court has set this precedent, California will use it to save lives.”

Senator Hertzberg, the bill’s author, also added that “I am proud to be working with Governor Newsom and his Administration to bring accountability to gun manufacturers and others who are flooding our streets with dangerous and deadly weapons. The alarm bells are blaring. We could not have a clearer call for action to stop gun violence than what happened on Sunday at the doorstep of our state’s democracy. The Legislature will act.”Opponents on Wednesday charged that those behind the bill were using an isolated incident to further their agenda and push forward a bill with questionable civil rights violations and constitutionality issues.

“This is not a ‘needing a law for all boats to have enough lifeboats after the Titanic sinking’ sort of situation,” said Raymond Ferrell, a gun distributor who advises many sellers on selling weapons in Western states such as California, to the Globe on Wednesday. “And it’s not like a Port Arthur situation like Australia where one mass shooting brought swift gun bills across an entire country. It was one incident, likely gang related, that just happened to be nearby the Capitol building at the same time major firearms related legislation was to be discussed a few days later.”

“I can’t blame them for using it to their advantage. Armed civilians who stop mass shootings are elevated similarly in other states. But they’re using it to advance a bill made out of spite to a bill on another subject passed in another state. A bill that would not have stopped this even if it was passed. It’s astounding that this is even happening here.”

Sen. Hertzberg’s response to critique of SB 1327 at the hearing: “We are trying to create the greatest chilling effect we can.”

SB 1327 is due to be heard in other Senate committees in the coming weeks.

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6 thoughts on “Firearm Bill Modeled After Texas Heartbeat Abortion Bill Passes Sen. Judiciary Committee

  1. More phony symbolism that means nothing, does nothing, from Gov Newsom using his apparent puppet Sen Bob Hertzberg. You already know what a spite-filled tyrannical scoundrel Newsom is; you’ve experienced it yourselves personally in the last two years if not before. If you have a question about who Sen Bob Hertzberg is, maybe this video will help if you missed it before. Oh sure, Sen Hertzberg “cares” so much by trying to get rid of the important tool of the bail system. (*eye roll*) This only adds to a crime problem and hurts residents in crime-plagued neighborhoods MORE, while the politicians PRETEND to be helpful and virtuous. Please!
    “You Hate Black People! Black Man vs. California Democrats”
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qp630BzG6GE
    (Just start watching, phony Hertzberg shows up in a couple of minutes. For the meat of the hearing in the “public safety committee,” skip to about the 14 min mark)

  2. Many of us Californian citizens would like to file lawsuits against Democrats in the state legislature and in local government who pass laws or promulgate policies that allow criminals to not be locked up so that they are able to commit crimes and prey on innocent people. Many of us California citizens would also like to file lawsuits against Democrats in the state legislature and in local government who abuse public health laws to impose medical tyranny and deny California citizens their basic civil rights as guaranted under the U.S. Constitution.

  3. Maybe Democrat Senator Hertzberg is getting paid off to push this legislation? Could it be some globalist like George Soros or maybe Klaus Schwab and his World Economic Forum? Like all Democrats, Senator Hertzberg looks well fed? No food shortages for them?

  4. “We are trying to create the greatest chilling effect we can.”
    I’m sure even the 9th Circuit (most overturned court in the land) will find this a very interesting quote from the author of the bill when it ends up in court…

  5. I don’t understand Sen. Hertzberg’s comparison of suing gun manufacturers to the “heartbeat law”.
    Gun *manufacturers* aren’t killing babies/fetuses.
    While a gun can be used to kill, you can’t sue the *gun*, and by the same reasoning; an abortion doctor is the “weapon” that performs the killing, but we don’t sue the parents of that doctor for “manufacturing” the doctor.
    Sorry Senator, it’s just stupid, entirely stupid.
    While we’re on it, can we get a simple and legal definition of “assault weapon”? Because literally *anything* can be used as a “weapon to assault”.

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