OAKLAND, CA – The Democratic governor of the state of California, Gavin Newsom, proposed on Thursday a 28th Amendment to the Constitution of the United States that would restrict gun rights for American citizens currently enshrined by the 2nd amendment.
Following numerous mass shootings about the country, Newsom, growing frustrated with what he called inaction on gun control, said that the country should implement a new amendment that would create “common sense” gun safety laws nationwide that he claimed gun owners would support.
“Our ability to make a more perfect union is literally written into the Constitution,” Newsom said. “So today, I’m proposing the 28th Amendment to the United States Constitution to do just that. The 28th Amendment will enshrine in the Constitution common sense gun safety measures that Democrats, Republicans, Independents, and gun owners overwhelmingly support – while leaving the 2nd Amendment unchanged and respecting America’s gun-owning tradition.”
While the amendment that Newsom proposes would increase the federal minimum age to buy a firearm in the country from 18 to 21, in addition to requiring universal background checks to purchase guns, creating a waiting period for all gun purchases and ban “assault-style” weapons such as AR-15s.
The proposed amendment would also allow Congress, states, and local governments to create their own individual gun control measures as well.
Congress can only pass an amendment to the Constitution with a two-thirds vote on the part of both the House of Representatives and the Senate, after which it would be sent to the states for ratification. However, with Republicans having a slim controlling majority in the house and a 51-49 Democratic majority in the Senate, it is quite likely impossible for any amendment reducing the rights of gun owners to be successfully passed.
Knowing this, Newsom is campaigning for states to circumvent the traditional process of passing an amendment by invoking Article V of the Constitution, which requires Congress to hold a constitutional convention if two-thirds of state legislatures (34 states) call for one. If such a convention adopts a proposed amendment, it then heads back to the state legislatures for ratification.
Newsom’s plan was criticized by gun rights advocates such as Erich Pratt, Senior Vice President of Gun Owners of America (GOA), who said it represented an attack on the 2nd amendment.
“We’ve always warned those who cherish their God-given liberties that the ultimate goal of anti-gunners was the abolishment of the Second Amendment,” he said. “GOA will strongly oppose this proposal as we work to protect and restore the Second Amendment rights of all Americans.”