Newsom Launches Drive For 28th Amendment Focused On Gun Control

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by Tyler Durden
Saturday, Jun 10, 2023 - 10:00 PM

Governor Gavin Newsom on Thursday announced a California-led drive to amend the US Constitution to impose new, nationwide restrictions on gun ownership

"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," said Newsom in a statement.

His claim that such a move would "leave the 2nd Amendment intact" is quite an eye-roller: While the 2nd Amendment's language may not change, Newsom's 28th Amendment would clearly represent a frontal assault on the scope of the 2nd Amendment's protection of the right of armed self-defense. 

Newsom didn't propose specific language, but he did outline five goals:

  • Setting 21 as a national minimum age for buying a firearm
  • Imposing a universal background check regime 
  • Barring sales of "assault weapons that serve no other purpose than to kill as many people as possible in a short amount of time"
  • Imposing a "reasonable" waiting period for every firearm purchase
  • "Affirm[ing that] Congress, states, and local governments can enact additional common-sense gun safety regulations that save lives" 

It's worth noting that his "assault weapon" ban would only apply to "civilians." It seems he's content for police to have weapons "that serve no other purpose than to kill as many people as possible in a short amount of time." 

Regarding his proposed minimum purchase age, Newsom said, "if you can't buy a beer, you shouldn't be able to buy a gun." Of course, the requirement to be 21 years old to buy alcohol is itself a form of tyranny. 

Gun control advocates have been reeling since last summer's momentous Supreme Court decision that created a new test for determining the constitutionality of gun control measures. Unless a given measure is found to be "consistent with the nation's historical tradition of firearm regulation" -- and specifically, tradition dating to the founding era -- that measure is invalid. Courts have been shooting down gun laws left and right. 

“We’re sick of being on the defense and throwing up our hands," Newsom told Politico. "We want to go on the offense and be for something and build a movement that’s bottom up, not top down.”

In collaboration with California state legislators, Newsom is championing a national amendment convention focused on gun control. Under Article V of the Constitution, amendments can be proposed by Congress, or they can be drafted by states in "a convention for proposing amendments."

For such a convention to happen, Newsom and other gun control advocates will need two-thirds of the state legislatures to call for a convention. (Governors have no role in the process.) That translates to 34 states, a daunting threshold considering Democrats only control 20 state legislatures.

Newsom's announcement looks more like a publicity stunt than a sincere effort to mold the Constitution. He's funding the push with leftover money from his 2022 reelection campaign. 

"Assuming Newsom is serious (which seems highly doubtful), he wants to treat the U.S. Constitution as a vehicle for detailed public policies rather than a framework that constrains those policies," writes Jacob Sullum at Reason

In branding his proposal as the "28th Amendment," Newsom assumes no other new amendments will precede it. While the convention-of-states avenue has never produced an amendment, an ongoing, conservative-led drive for a convention crossed the halfway-point to 34 states last summer. Goals for that convention push include congressional term limits, repeal of the income tax, and giving states the power to negate any federal law or regulation with an official rejection by three-fifths of the legislatures.