California Attorney General Rob Bonta threw his support behind a multi-state effort to hold the gun industry accountable in times of gun violence.

Bonta joined 17 other state attorneys generals in filing an amicus brief on Monday that supports New Jersey’s defense against a legal challenge to its firearm public nuisance statute in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit.

The New Jersey statue grants victims the right to pursue legal action against members in the firearm industry if they violate state law. The brief argues that New Jersey’s policy is in line with states’ rights to make laws that protect consumers from harm and encourages responsible business practices.

The statute mirrors California’s 2022 Assembly Bill 1594 — a policy sponsored by Bonta that allows Californians that were victims of gun violence to file civil suits against gun manufacturers and sellers if they fail to ensure their products are being used safely.

In National Shooting Sports Foundation v. James, a group of gun industry members filed suit to block New Jersey’s statute, though their preliminary injunction motion was denied by a district court. The plaintiffs are now seeking an appeal in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit.

Bonta said the gun industry should not be the only industry getting a “free pass” from being held accountable for the harm its products cause.

He has also backed other gun violence prevention efforts, like filing support for states’ right to regulate guns on public transportation, or urging the court to prohibit people carrying guns in places of worship in New York.

“Gun violence has left too many families broken, too many children traumatized, too many loved ones in pain — it’s time to stand up to the companies who sell these deadly weapons,” Bonta said.