The conservative wing of the Supreme Court opened Pandora’s box by letting Texas Republicans offer bounties to private citizens who sue anyone who helps a woman get an abortion. Now California is about to turn the tables by putting bounties on guns.

Chief Justice John Roberts warned conservative Justices that allowing the Texas abortion law to stay in place basically gives states a loophole to nullify any federal law or court ruling they don’t like. Because by letting private citizens enforce the Texas abortion law, other states are now open to target rights that Republicans enjoy such as gun rights.

That scenario is now coming to pass now that California Governor Gavin Newsom has announced that he will pursue a similar state law allowing citizens to sue gun manufacturers, which also comes in the wake of a judge ruling a California law that bans the manufacture of assault weapons as unconstitutional.

“I am outraged by yesterday’s U.S. Supreme Court decision allowing Texas’s ban on most abortion services to remain in place, and largely endorsing Texas’s scheme to insulate its law from the fundamental protections of Roe v. Wade,” Newsom said in a statement. “But 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.”

“I have directed my staff to work with the Legislature and the Attorney General on a bill that would create a right of action allowing private citizens to seek injunctive relief, and statutory damages of at least $10,000 per violation plus costs and attorney’s fees, against anyone who manufactures, distributes or sells an assault weapon or ghost gun kit or parts in the State of California,” he concluded. “If the most efficient way to keep these devastating weapons off our streets is to add the threat of private lawsuits, we should do just that.”

This is exactly what should be happening in blue states across the country. Republicans and the Supreme Court must be put on notice. It’s time for Democrats to start fighting fire with fire. And if the high court’s conservatives decide to rule against the California law without also ruling against the Texas law, the court will no longer be relevant.

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