Newsom Pushes for Constitutional Change: Article V Convention of States To Restrict Firearm Access

  • by:
  • Source: Wayne Dupree
  • 06/08/2023
Democratic governor of California Gavin Newsom wants to amend the Constitution to restrict access to firearms.

On Thursday, Newsom announced a proposed 28th Amendment to the Constitution that he believes would impose "common sense" gun safety regulations that have broad bipartisan support because he was tired of the lack of action on gun control.

According to Newsom, the Constitution expressly grants us the right to create a more ideal union. "As a result, I'm recommending the 28th Amendment to the US Constitution today to accomplish that goal. While keeping the 2nd Amendment intact and upholding America's long heritage of gun ownership, the 28th Amendment will codify in the Constitution sensible gun safety regulations that Democrats, Republicans, Independents, and gun owners strongly favour.

Newsom's plan follows a string of triumphs for gun rights advocates in federal courts, including the Supreme Court's historic ruling last year that overturned a century-old New York statute that made it challenging to acquire a license to carry a concealed pistol.

The Democratic governor's proposed 28th Amendment, which would grant people a right to keep and carry guns for personal defence, would not repeal the Second Amendment. However, it would increase the federal minimum age to acquire a handgun from 18 to 21, impose a waiting time before all gun transactions, require universal background checks, and outlaw "assault weapons."

In addition, the Newsom amendment would confirm that local, state, and federal governments can implement further gun control laws.

Under Article V, either Congress or a convention of states may change the Constitution.
With a two-thirds majority in the House and Senate, Congress can approve an amendment and submit it to the states for ratification. There is almost no possibility that a constitutional amendment curtailing gun rights would have enough support to get through Congress with Republicans in charge of the House and a 51-49 Democratic majority in the Senate.

Newsom is urging the convening of an Article V Convention of states to write his proposed amendment as an alternative. Before convening to discuss a Constitutional amendment, the convention must receive approval from two-thirds of the state legislatures. A proposed amendment would then return to the state legislatures for ratification if such a convention decided to accept it.

A proposed amendment cannot be added to the Constitution without the ratification of three-fourths of the states, an uncommon and challenging task that has only been done 27 times in the history of the country.

According to Newsom, he will run a campaign to get support from the general public and push other state legislatures to approve an Article V convention. Legislators from the state Assembly and Senate of California provided support in a news release from his office.

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