California’s Democratic governor, Gavin Newsom, has suggested a 28th amendment to the Constitution, which he claims would reduce gun violence in the country.
Instead of discussing the scourge of mental illness or the lack of basic human empathy among past and potential shooters, it concentrates on taking away Americans’ right to bear arms.
The new amendment, that Newsom advocated by way of both Twitter and a press release, would outlaw so-called “assault weapons” nationally, impose waiting periods for buyers, and implement background checks for everyone, he said.
According to Newsom, if his suggested amendment were adopted, the Second Amendment would likewise be safeguarded.
“Our ability to make a more perfect union is literally written into the Constitution,” he stated. “So today, I’m proposing the 28th Amendment to the United States Constitution to do just that.”
According to Newsom, a 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.”
NEW: I’m proposing the 28th Amendment to the United States Constitution to help end our nation’s gun violence crisis.
The American people are sick of Congress’ inaction.
The 28th will enshrine 4 widely supported gun safety freedoms — while leaving the 2nd Amendment intact:
— Gavin Newsom (@GavinNewsom) June 8, 2023
A line that suggests that a change like this would go beyond the governor’s suggested measures is tucked away in the news release.
According to the press release, “Additionally, the 28th Amendment will affirm Congress, states, and local governments can enact additional common-sense gun safety regulations that save lives.”
Newsom has a little chance of seeing such an amendment succeed.
“In order to amend the Constitution, Congress would need to pass legislation with a two-thirds majority vote in both the House of Representatives and in the Senate, the Western Journal noted.
That, or a constitutional convention must be called for by two-thirds of the state legislatures.
Newsom said he will work to get 33 state legislatures to concur with California that a constitutional amendment is required to reduce gun violence.
According to a statement from Newsom’s office, he “will 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 state legislatures to ensure the convening of a constitutional convention limited to this subject.”
It was noted by the governor’s office that “33 other states, in addition to California, would need to take action to convene such a convention.”
That doesn’t seem likely to happen considering how many states in the Mountain West, Midwest, and South have actually loosened their gun regulations recently.
A two-thirds vote in both houses to approve anything so contentious appears exceedingly implausible given how evenly split Congress is along party lines.
The office of Newsom stated on Thursday that the rest of the nation should follow California’s tough gun control regulations.
“California’s nation-leading gun safety laws serve as a valuable blueprint for other states and Congress to save lives,” his office stated.
The Supreme Court would also be a major roadblock for Newsom as it is currently stacked with pro-2nd Amendment justices.
It was one of the most significant Second Amendment victories in nearly two decades when the Supreme Court ruled 6-3 in March that New York’s concealed carry law was unconstitutional.
According to experts, the ruling means that similarly restrictive concealed carry laws, which are primarily found in blue states, are also likely to be challenged in court with the same results.
“This decision is a big deal,” FiveThirtyEight announced following the decision. “Previously, the court had only said that the Constitution protected the ability to have a gun inside the home for self-defense. In that decision, which came down in 2008, the justices didn’t rule on how guns carried outside the home could be regulated. It took almost 15 years for the justices to come back to that question, but now they have.”
Justice Clarence Thomas wrote in his majority opinion stating that the Second Amendment “protect[s] an individual’s right to carry a handgun for self-defense outside the home,” hence statutes such as the one in New York, “which required people who wanted a license to carry a concealed handgun in public to show they have a good reason, are no longer allowed,” FiveThirtyEight added.
Senate Republicans are proposing legislation codifying the Supreme Court’s landmark self-defense ruling of 2022.
Last year, the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled 7-4 to uphold a statute in California banning magazines that can hold more than 10 rounds.
Furthermore, the justices remanded a Maryland case that challenged the state’s banning of 45 types of so-called “assault” weapons back to an appeals court. The Supreme Court had previously rejected a challenge to that law in 2017.
“Thomas’s opinion states regulations need to be historically consistent with the Second Amendment,” according to FiveThirtyEight.
“That means when they look at a modern gun regulation, judges will have to figure out if another, reasonably similar law was passed earlier in the country’s history. Previously, courts had also considered whether a regulation could be justified for other reasons, but that second layer of consideration is no longer allowed,” FTE explained.