Just days after California Governor Gavin Newsom (D.) called for gun-control advocates to copy the tactics of Texas’ abortion law, a top New York official is ready to follow suit.
On a Tuesday appearance on ABC’s “The View”, New York Attorney General Letitia James (D.) praised Newsom’s statements. She told the show’s hosts that she would soon be pushing for a similar strategy that allows civilians to enforce gun bans or sue gun makers for criminal acts by third parties as a strategy to delay judicial action against the policies.
“When I heard about that, I said to my team, ‘We need to follow his lead,'” James said.
New York Attorney General Letitia James tells @TheView she plans to follow California Gov. Gavin Newsom’s lead to create a law that empowers private citizens to enforce an assault weapons ban. https://t.co/weeQ2xFMMs pic.twitter.com/PDitlt8Q0i
— ABC News (@ABC) December 14, 2021
James said liability protections for the gun industry, which she falsely claimed was absolute, motivated her to back the move.
“The reason why that is, is because gun manufacturers and gun distributors in this country are immunized,” she said. “No liability whatsoever. They’re the only industry that is protected in this country.”
While federal law shields gun makers and dealers from suits over criminal acts they aren’t directly involved with, they can, and often are, sued over their direct actions including defective products.
James has made gun control a central component of her political career thus far. She campaigned on targeting the NRA and publicly called the group a “terrorist organization” during her run for New York Attorney General. She is currently leading the legal challenge against the group with the goal of dissolving it.
She went on to criticize what she saw as inaction on gun control following the Sandy Hook shooting. She also outlined her desire to attach liability to gun manufacturers.
“Given the carnage, and given the fact that this is the ninth anniversary of Sandy Hook, I am sick and tired of prayers and individuals whose hearts go out to all of those who have lost lives,” she said. “We can do something about it. And what we need to do is hold these manufacturers and these gun distributors liable.”
Guest co-host Amanda Carpenter pushed back and suggested that making gun dealers liable for violence was a separate issue from letting private citizens take action.
James clarified that she felt lawsuits from private citizens could be a way around the current liability protections enjoyed by gun manufacturers.
“And so the issue is, allowing private citizens and is that a way to get around, again, this immunization the fact that they have been immunized and we don’t hold them liable,” she said. “So, we are reviewing it. We are talking to California.”