- Gavin Newsom, the Governor of California, has proposed a 28th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.
- The goal is to override the Second Amendment and enforce stricter gun control laws.
- Newsom's proposal includes universal background checks, raising the firearm purchase age to 21, implementing a waiting period for purchasing firearms, and banning so-called assault weapons.
- The process of amending the Constitution is difficult, requiring approval from two-thirds of Congress or two-thirds of state legislators, followed by ratification by three-fourths of states.
- Newsom's proposal faces significant challenges, and it is unlikely that it will gain enough support to be implemented nationwide.
California Governor Gavin Newsom has recently introduced a controversial proposal that aims to add a 28th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. The goal of this amendment is to override the Second Amendment and implement stricter gun control measures across the country. Newsom's proposal has sparked significant debate and raised concerns among gun rights advocates. However, the process of amending the Constitution is complex, making the likelihood of this proposal becoming law highly improbable.
Background and Motivation: Newsom's decision to propose this 28th Amendment comes amidst a series of legal battles surrounding gun control laws in California. Federal district courts have been ruling against the state's restrictive measures, and there is a pending lawsuit challenging California's ban on so-called assault weapons. Newsom likely anticipates an unfavorable outcome in this case, especially considering the recent Supreme Court ruling in New York State Rifle and Pistol Association versus Bruin.
Understanding the Amendment Process: To fully comprehend the significance of Newsom's proposal, it is essential to understand the process of amending the U.S. Constitution. According to Article 5, there are two ways to propose amendments: either two-thirds of both houses of Congress can vote in favor, or two-thirds of state legislatures can request Congress to call a National Convention. Subsequently, amendments must be ratified by three-fourths of state legislatures or through ratifying conventions in three-fourths of the states. This stringent process was intentionally designed by the Founding Fathers to prevent frivolous amendments to the Constitution.
Key Points of the 28th Amendment Proposal: Newsom's press release outlines the key points he wishes to include in the proposed 28th Amendment. These points align with the gun control measures currently enforced in California, and he intends to extend them nationwide. The main provisions include:
- Raising the age for firearm purchases from 18 to 21: California already has a similar law in place, but its constitutionality has been challenged. Treating 18-year-olds as adults in most contexts while denying them the right to bear arms is a point of contention for gun rights advocates.
- Implementing universal background checks: This measure is likely intended to eliminate private party transactions and enforce background checks for all firearm transfers. California has already introduced similar restrictions, and Newsom aims to standardize these regulations nationwide.
- Instituting a waiting period for firearm purchases: Newsom's proposal suggests a blanket 10-day waiting period for purchasing firearms across the country. California currently has this requirement in place, and it is aimed at reducing impulsive purchases and allowing time for comprehensive background checks.
- Banning so-called assault weapons: California has multiple laws that restrict the ownership of certain firearms labeled as assault weapons. Newsom's proposal seeks to extend this ban nationally. However, the definition of an assault weapon varies across states, and this provision raises concerns about the potential erosion of Second Amendment rights.
Controversy and Challenges: Newsom's proposal has generated significant controversy and faced criticism from gun rights proponents. Many argue that stricter gun control measures infringe upon individual rights and do not effectively address underlying issues related to gun violence. Moreover, the amendment process itself poses a significant challenge. To enact the 28th Amendment, 33 additional states would need to join California's efforts, which is highly unlikely given the diverse political landscape across the country.
Conclusion: While Governor Gavin Newsom's proposal to introduce a 28th Amendment and override the Second Amendment has raised concerns among gun rights advocates, the likelihood of it becoming law remains slim. The complex process of amending the Constitution and the widespread opposition to stricter gun control measures make it improbable for this proposal to gain the necessary support. Nevertheless, the introduction of such a proposal sheds light on the ongoing debate surrounding the Second Amendment and the potential future challenges to gun ownership rights in the United States.