California Gov. Gavin Newsom signed a bill Tuesday allowing individuals as well as the state and local governments to sue gun makers for negligence, potentially paving the way to a wave of lawsuits if the legislation survives inevitable legal challenges.
The measure reflects an effort by California and other states led by Democrats to strengthen gun restrictions following mass shootings across the country in the face of fierce opposition by the industry, its Republican allies and a conservative Supreme Court.
California’s measure creates a code of conduct that features various safeguards intended to reduce gun violence, authorizing lawsuits for violations by the state attorney general, city attorneys and individual citizens. The bill takes effect next summer.