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Is gun control on the U.S. Constitution a possibility? Governor Gavin Newsom bringing in broad attention with the proposal

Posted by Sara Cooper | Jul 10, 2023 | 0 Comments

Last month, Governor Newsom announced his proposal to the United States Constitution to limit gun ownership under the climate of gun control debates and daily mass shootings throughout the country.

Here is what the proposal consists of under the drafted 28th Amendment that promotes gun safety principles:

  • Raising the federal minimum age to purchase a firearm from 18 to 21;
  • Mandating universal background checks to prevent truly dangerous people from purchasing a gun that could be used in a crime;
  • Instituting a reasonable 30-day waiting period for all gun purchases; and
  • Barring civilian purchase of assault weapons that serve no other purpose than to kill as many people as possible in a short amount of time – weapons of war our nation's founders never foresaw.

110 Americans die everyday by the action of gun violence, and California has the strictest gun safety rules in the nation. Our state's gun death rate has the 44th lowest out of our 49 other neighbors according to the Center of Disease and Control, with 9 gun deaths per 100,000 people. Bringing in these strengths of gun control onto the national table is a challenge that might be completely impossible, but the representation from a liberal state isn't a bad start.

According to CalMatters, purchasing a gun at an older age due to restrictions is related to lesser rates of suicide as well as stronger and broader background checks reduces crime. Less evidence on assault weapons have been proven with connection on these results, but it can be determined that it would prevent more mass shootings and the deaths that are caused by those horrific happenings.

Governor Newsom stated 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.”

The problem is with this introduction is that amending the Constitution was last done 31 years ago, and a U.S. Constitution amendment has never been passed by a proposal of a state. Here is two ways that Newsom can accomplish implementing the 28th Amendment into the Constitution:

  1. Receive 2/3 of the votes in Congress, done by all 27 amendments that are in the Constitution.
  2. Calling a constitutional convention by 2/3 of state legislatures. It has never been done before.

This bill is expected to be carried out by California Democratic State Senator Aisha Wahab who serves Hayward and Democratic Assemblymember Reggie Jones-Sawyer who serves Los Angeles, along with organizations that focus on gun-safety.

There are mixed feelings about the proposed amendment by both Republicans and Democrats, claiming other gun-safety laws in California that have not been strongly enforced. California has obtained a list of individuals who have committed a felony or violent misdemeanor that have lost the right to own a gun, with the backlog of the gun owners who are not permitted of the 2nd Amendment under struggle by the Department of Justice. The state also has an expanded “red flag” law that allows interdisciplinary groups such as friends and family, police officers, and social workers to request the court in making orders to remove firearms from vulnerable individuals that are at-risk of harming themselves or others. These laws have also been poorly enacted by law enforcement agencies.

For some of Newsom’s allies, the impediment imposed by the courts makes changing the Constitution not just a necessary step to reduce gun violence across the country, but to protect the laws that California has already passed according to CalMatters.

Support from constituents for the amending the Constitution on guns can be directed through here on this link: Add Your Name: Amend the Constitution on Guns | Gavin Newsom

Supporting Documents:

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