Gavin Newsom Proposes Constitutional Amendment to Curtail Second Amendment Rights

Craig Bannister | June 9, 2023
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Democrat California Gov. Gavin Newsom has proposed amending the United State Constitution in order to restrict firearm ownership.

Newsom’s proposed amendment would raise the minimum firearm purchase age nationwide from 18 to 21, mandate universal background checks, institute a waiting period for gun purchases and prohibit civilians from purchasing so-called “assault weapons.”

In a video released on Thursday, Newsom touted his proposal and denounced alleged inaction to prevent mass shootings. “Every time, it’s the same,” Newsom said. “They tell us we can’t stop these massacres. They tell us we have to stand by and watch tragedy after tragedy unfold in our communities.” Newsom also scoffed at the idea “that thoughts and prayers are the best we can do.”

Despite the divisiveness of gun control, Newsom expressed full-throated confidence that his proposed 28th amendment to the Constitution could ratified in an Article V convention of the states. Newsom argued that his amendment would receive bipartisan support since, he claimed, “The 28th locks in the common-sense constitutional protections that Democrats, Republicans, independents and gun owners overwhelmingly support.”

Setting aside its questionable bipartisan appeal, accomplishing the ratification of his amendment may prove to be more daunting than Newsom seems to believe. Excluding the nonpartisan legislature of Nebraska, Republicans control 28 of the 49 remaining state legislatures, in addition to the divided partisan control of the Pennsylvania and Virginia state legislatures. To pass his amendment, Newsom would need 34 total states to call for a convention, a formidable prospect indeed.

While Newsom would also have the option of attempting to pass his proposal through the federal legislature, the prospect of securing a two-thirds majority in a divided House and Senate is similarly remote.