California’s Newson Seeks Gun Control Amendment

California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) recently announced a plan to pass a proposed 28th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution to restrict gun rights. The plan to supersede elements of the 2nd Amendment faces an uphill climb toward passage but gives an insight into the strategy of gun control advocates.

According to the governor’s office, the California Democrat’s proposal would “enshrine fundamental, broadly supported gun safety measures into law.”

Newsom desires several major changes as part of the potential amendment. This includes raising the age to purchase a firearm nationwide to 21 and creating a universal background check system “to prevent truly dangerous people from purchasing a gun that could be used in a crime.” 

The governor’s proposal also seeks to create a “reasonable waiting period on all gun purchases.” 

Furthermore, Newsom’s plan would bar “civilian purchase of assault weapons that serve no other purpose than to kill as many people as possible in a short amount of time,” which his office called “weapons of war our nation’s founders never foresaw.”

Newsom claimed that the provisions of the proposed amendment would leave “the 2nd Amendment unchanged and respecting America’s gun-owning tradition.”

Newsom’s office stated that he would seek passage of the amendment through a convention of states as set out by Article V of the U.S. Constitution.

As a result, California will hold the first state to seek such a convention. 

The governor pledged to “work with grassroots supporters, elected and civic leaders and broad and diverse coalitions across the nation to fight for the passage of similar resolutions” in other states. 

In order for the draft 28th Amendment to come before such a convention, Newsom would need 34 total states to approve such a measure.

None of the existing 27 amendments to the federal Constitution have been passed by an Article V convention. Each has been passed through approval of Congress and assented to by the legislatures of three-quarters of the states. 

So far, Republicans have resisted such an effort, including House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA), who wrote on Twitter that potential presidential contenders such as Newsom should “stop pushing their extreme positions nationally.”