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Cal Update: New Gun Law, Water Shortages, Noriega Sues Video Game

By Gabriella Khorasanee, JD on July 29, 2014 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

While certainly not as exciting as the prospect of six Californias, or as debatable as the value of the death penalty, there are still many legal issues in California that are making headlines.

In this week's update, we take a look at a new celebrity lawsuit, how California is dealing with the water shortage, and keeping firearms out of the wrong hands.

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Firearms and the Mentally Ill

In October 2013, the California State Auditor released a report entitled "Armed Persons With Mental Illness," which found that the "California DOJ was not receiving timely notification from courts when an individual became barred from having a firearm," California Healthline reports. As a result, Assembly Member K.H. Achadijan (R-San Luis Obispo) introduced Assembly Bill 1591, which gives courts one day to tell the Department of Justice if a person is barred from possessing a firearm because of mental illness or certain convictions. On July 18, Governor Brown signed the bill into law.

Emergency Water Regulation

California's water shortage is getting worse every day. As you probably know, the State Water Board recently approved an emergency regulation to enforce water conservation by California residents, with respect to outdoor water usage.

Residents who don't comply could face a penalty of up to $500 per day for "failure to implement conservation requirements," the agency stated in a press release. State Water Board Chair Felicia Marcus explained, "These regulations are meant to spark awareness of the seriousness of the situation, and could be expanded if the drought wears on and people do not act."

Manuel Noriega Sues Activision

Celebrities making appearances in video games is nothing new (and neither are the lawsuits that follow), but one particular case recently filed in Los Angeles County Superior Court caught our eye. Manuel Noriega -- yes, that one, the former dictator of Panama -- is suing Activision Blizzard Inc. for using his likeness and depicting him in the video game "Call of Duty: Black Ops II" as "a kidnapper, murderer and enemy of the state," reports the Los Angeles Times. (We actually like the subhead in Ars Technica's coverage: "Ruthless criminal Noriega complains game depicts him as a ruthless criminal.").

One lawyer pointed out to BBC News that since Noriega is not a U.S. citizen, "it's unclear on what legal basis he can actually bring a case against Activision." We're sure this is not the last we'll hear about this case, and we'll keep you posted.

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