Gavin Newsom angry
California Gov. Gavin Newsom (AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli, File)
Previous Post
Next Post

California’s Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom was quick to sign a law that banned any advertising that could potentially be attractive to youths. Gun ads, he believes, might warp young minds. He is whistling a different tune, though, when it comes to rap lyrics. Turns out, any mention of violence, crime or lawlessness is just fine.

Gov. Newsom sees himself as the arbiter of First Amendment-protected free speech. In his mind, it is the lawful firearm industry – and any advertising related to youth hunting or shooting sports – that is responsible for the gun crimes committed by criminals in California where his district attorneys refuse to prosecute.

Words matter to Gov. Newsom, except when they happen to be rap lyrics.

Preferred Speech

Gov. Newsom hosted a video bill signing for AB 2799 and was joined by several hip hop artists. The bill, titled the Decriminalizing Artistic Expression Act, prevents prosecutors from using violent and explicit rap music lyrics in criminal court cases against criminals who have broken the law.

In addition, AB 2799, requires “a court, in a criminal proceeding where a party seeks to admit as evidence a form of creative expression, to consider specified factors when balancing the probative value of that evidence against the substantial danger of undue prejudice.”

“Artists of all kinds should be able to create without the fear of unfair and prejudicial prosecution,” Gov. Newsom said. “California… is taking a nation-leading role to protect creative expression and ensure that artists are not criminalized under biased policies.”

Those following the governor’s castigation of free expression by the firearm industry might be suffering from cognitive dissonance. There certainly is plenty of non-violent rap music, but it’s no secret that much of it also contains violent, explicit language. Crimes are bragged about, including criminal firearm misuse against law enforcement.

To Gov. Newsom, this is “artistic creative expression” and should be protected by the law. Commercial free speech by gun manufacturers…not so much.

Criminalizing Kids

Gov. Newsom previously signed AB 2571, as “a way to save lives by banning firearms advertising to children.” He released a video while holding a .22-caliber rifle, pointing it at the cameraman, laughably calling the firearm a “weapon of war” and decrying the firearm industry for “openly marketing” the lawful firearm.

calguns gun store window advertising

It’s an absurd line of attack against the firearm industry by Gov. Newsom. To him rap lyrics are fine and the artist should be protected. “Of course it’s not their fault if someone else acts out the violence they describe in their music.”

Firearm manufacturers, though, are held responsible for criminal violence in California because they advertise to parents and adults about youth hunting and shooting sports.

For gun control schemers, their message is clear. Only some creative or artistic expression is worthy of legal protections, but not all. Violent rap lyrics qualify. Nonviolent firearm advertisements do not.

Youth Safety

Gov. Newsom’s youth hunting and shooting sports advertising ban had a near-immediate impact. The California State High School Clay Target League folded up shop after the bill became law. The program cited the possibility of facing $25,000 civil fines on “firearm industry members” advertising “any firearms-related product” in a way that could be seen as “appealing to minors.” The group regularly advertises target shooting competitions and trainings to members and prospective members.

Gavin Newsom
Gov. Gavin Newsom (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)

Gov. Newsom recently signed AB 160, to allow for firearm safety, “communication offering or promoting any firearm safety program, hunting safety or promotional program” as well as membership in youth shooting leagues or clubs.

For Gov. Newsom, some creative speech is perfectly acceptable — even if violent, explicit and dangerous — and should be protected. Other creative free speech that is neither false, misleading, deceptive nor immoral is abhorrent and unacceptable and should be punished and banned.

The difference is not based on principles – it’s just Gov. Newsom’s anti-gun bias.


Larry Keane is SVP for Government and Public Affairs, Assistant Secretary and General Counsel of the National Shooting Sports Foundation.

Previous Post
Next Post


  1. He’s good with rap lyrics about killing cops. I wonder if he’d be whistling the same tune for rap lyrics about banning hair gel.

    • Why not ban Democrat Advertising……150% of it is lies and falsehoods and has led to the deaths of 1,000,000+ Americans in fake and fraudulent wars.

    • Albert, how about you suck on the snotty end of my fuckstick. You’re a good little pole smoker aren’t you? Won’t smoke a Marlboro, but you’re good @ smoking the boloney pony!

    • Guns are not tobacco – two entirely different things. Tobacco advertising was banned because tobacco companies lied about the effects of tobacco use and willfully marketed a product that was known to cause injury and death, at a minimum injury 100% of the time (even with the first use there is damage to the chemical systems in the body and alteration of brain chemistry), when used as intended.

      Guns on the other hand, the firearms manufacturers are not lying about them and their intended use (among others, e.g. hunting, sporting, defense, etc…) by the law abiding populace is to be used safely and when used as intended they are safe.

      Its two different things.

    • Princess, tobacco isn’t a constitutional right. The 2nd Amendment is. So is the First Amendment. Didn’t you guys read the paperwork when you got thrown off the continent?

      • Okay, I’ve reached my limit of tolerance for the tedious that insist on moving among us for today. This is at my physician’s advice. Dr. Kent recently tested me for patience. I was negative.

    • “It’s legal to ban the advertising of TOBACCO so why not guns?”

      Because in the United States of America, you don’t have an expressly-constitutional right to use tobacco, you ignorant Limey fuckwit. You do have a right to own and carry a gun.

      Now sod off, wanker, the adults are speaking…

    • Thank you for reminding us how and why we won the Revolutionary War.
      Note, that would be We The People, won.
      Granted, it took the war of 1812 to finally evict you.
      Based off what I am reading in the news, you just might be facing your own Civil War. Are you just going to roll over, cold and hungry while your elite tell you to stop crying as they eat well, drink well and are warm and comfortable?
      Of course you will.
      Dance little sheep, dance!

    • Albert, your Establishment superior wants his knob polished (not the one on a door) and then wants you to kiss his ring (not the one on his finger).

      Be a good chap and get onto it forthwith! It is not a request.

    • Even a trade or gun sports magazine can be fined for showing pictures of the event. This is a page out of a Communist or Nazi manifesto.
      Make guns bad and allow the criminals to go about their violent business. Once the guns are mostly all taken, then they turn on the brown shirts and put them to hard time and/or labor.
      Once they have control, it is police state all the way. I pray that we can stop them, I do not want that for my grandchildren and great grandchildren.

  2. Chinese Communist traitor. Rap lyrics tend to divide the country. Guns afford the opportunity to defend against Chinese invaders. Think about it, incompetent, Chinese spy is convinced he will be next potus. Isn’t that how you would want it if you were China?

  3. Easy solution all firearm advertisements are now to be presented in rap format for 1st amendment protection.

  4. Culture war. Keep kids from actually learning about safe firearm usage…while protecting the felony misuse and harmful employment as described in ‘artistic expression’ under the cover of 1st Amendment. Those mental, backward cheetah-flips must be exhausting.

  5. D-Bag Newsollini is just trying to show how woke he is and get his mug into the national spotlight when Auntie Nasty greenlights his run in ’24. Biggest problem in CA is far too many people believe his BS and the CA game is rigged.

  6. BREAKING: Judge Rules Parts Of NY’s New Gun Laws Unconstitutional, Restraining Orders Issued >

    “SYRACUSE, NEW YORK — U.S. District Judge Glenn Suddaby ruled on Thursday that many parts of the new gun laws that went into effect on October 1st cannot be enforced, as they are unconstitutional.

    A temporary restraining order is in effect until later this month.

    Among the portions of the bill that Suddaby blocked are:

    New requirements for background checks for permits
    Disclosure of social media accounts
    Bans on firearms in some public and private properties
    Need to demonstrate “good moral character …

    He rejected the provision that an applicant must have evidence to demonstrate they have “good moral character,” an attempt by the state to block guns from people with bad intent. Suddaby reversed the burden of proof, ruling that it’s up to the licensing agency to prove the applicant does not have good moral character.

    Suddaby also limited what the new law can do when it comes to banning firearms in public and private property.

    He ruled that presumptive gun bans can only be enforced in government administrative buildings, polling places, public areas restricted to general access for special events through permits, or any public or private educational facilities.

    For places of worship, Suddaby clarified that firearms will remain banned from places of worship or religious observations, except for those who are tasked with armed security for those locations.

    New York’s law also required gun owners to have explicit permission to carry guns on private property. Suddaby has previously revealed he disagreed with the constitutionality of this presumptive ban.”

  7. More importantly for California, Judge Roger Benitez (‘Saint’ Benitez, of ‘Freedom Week’ magazine capacity fame) was appointed the judge in the lawsuit challenging California’s law financially penalizing challenges to California gun control laws :

    • Personally, I hope ‘Saint’ Benitez rules that whatever the lawyer’s fees are, the plaintiff should get double that amount for striking down unconstitutional California gun control laws… 🙂

  8. When rappers start talking of offing California governors, he might change his idea.

    He is a moron just like a majority of those in elected office. Elected by people who want things for free, no matter the price they pay. We all pay, even those who get the freebies paying with their self respect.

  9. I’ve been noting something lately.

    Democrats are, pure and simple, Pro-Crime. It sounds just weird to even say. Its not hyperbole. The facts are increasingly irrefutable.

    If a an even takes place where Crime is an issue. The democrats take the stance that makes the crime in question, more likely to take place.

    • They’re pro chaos and for a very good reason that, it seems, most people have not yet figured out even though the playbook is well over a century old.

      Reading it would help people understand but reading is for nerds, geeks and losers. Real adults just throw up a TL;DR and skip school board meetings to drink box wine.

      That way they can blame the “crazy” kids when things go to shit.

  10. “ensure that artists are not criminalized”

    For committing actual crimes? They weren’t in trouble for what they said. They were in trouble for what they did. I understand dems are all about pandering for votes, but now they’re openly pandering to criminals. Newsom thinks he can pander his way into the White House.

  11. Don’t forget to ask your doctor about AB2098.

    You’re sure to get the straight scoop! Unless of course the Doc’s opinion on AB2908 is mis, dis or malinformation in which case, well, you wouldn’t want to hear things not pre-approved of by your government, would you? Someone might get hurt if we allowed that.

  12. Specifically because the major voting cohort is middle aged wine moms.

    The Stones told you about this, though these days the preference is Vicodin but a cocktail of box wine, Addy and Xan-y bars(or similar). Which is how you get pro-gun control people driving down the 405 at 80mph while missing a wheel and with the back hatch on their Audi open but completely oblivious to it. (Currently viral Twitter vid)


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here