Gov. Gavin Newsom on Thursday morning proposed an amendment to the U.S. Constitution that would incorporate “broadly supported” gun safety measures into law.
“Our ability to make a more perfect union is literally written into the Constitution, so today I’m proposing the 28th Amendment to the United States Constitution to do just that,” Newsom said in a news release.
“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 four principles of Newsom’s proposal include:
- Raise the federal minimum age to purchase a firearm from 18 to 21.
- Mandate universal background checks to prevent truly dangerous people from purchasing a gun that could be used in a crime.
- Institute a reasonable waiting period for all gun purchases.
- Bar civilian purchase of assault weapons.
Newsom’s amendment additionally would affirm that Congress, states, and local governments can enact additional common-sense gun safety regulations that save lives.
Needs Support From 34 States to Trigger a Constitutional Convention
While it’s a given that Democrat-dominated California will jump on board with Newsom’s plan, he will need support from 33 other states to trigger a constitutional convention. At this convention, three-fourths of the states would have to vote to support the amendment to have it passed into law.
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
Newsom plans on pursuing the amendment with leftover cash from his 2022 gubernatorial election campaign. He said that his drive for a 28th Amendment stems from the tidal wave of gun violence deaths in the United States and the rollback of gun control measures in the courts.
“I don’t want to be maudlin or predictably patronizing and almost too political. But I got four damn kids, dude, I can’t take it anymore,” Newsom told Politico in an interview the day before Thursday’s announcement.
“I mean, when they go to the mall now, when they go to a movie theater, when they go to a birthday party — let alone going to school. And I have to have conversations with them about this. This is insane. It’s absolute insanity. And the biggest and most insane thing we can do is the same old BS and just point fingers. So, let’s give this a shot.”
US on Pace for Record Number of Mass Killings
There are 120 American lives lost to gun violence with more than 200 wounded each day. On average, the United States sees 43,375 deaths a year, according to a study conducted by Everytown Research. Firearms are the leading cause of death for American children and teens. And, 59% of adults or someone they know have experienced gun violence in their lifetime.
According to Giffords Law Center’s most recent data, the state of California saw a 37% lower gun death rate than the national average.
A recent analysis by the Associated Press shows that the U.S. is on pace for a record number of mass killings in 2023, with an average of one mass shooting every week.