Sunday, June 16, 2024

Newsom’s Proposed Anti-Second Amendment Receives No Support

Governor Newsom, 2019, wikimedia commons


On June 8, 2023,  a year ago, Gavin Newsom, Governor of California, and continuous supporter of ever more laws restricting gun ownership and use, proposed an Article V convention of the states for the purpose of amending the Constitution. The amendment would allow for more restrictions on who may own firearms and what type they are allowed to own. Since the convention and amendment were proposed, no other state has passed a resolution to support Governor Newsom's effort.

The initial proposition did not propose language for the Article V convention.  It listed several possible restrictions without statutory language. Resolution 7 was passed on September 21 in the California legislature. After a long list of dubious assumptions, the effective wording of proposed restrictions is as follows:

(a) Affirm that federal, state, and local governments may adopt public safety regulations limiting aspects of firearms acquisition, possession, public carry, and use by individuals, and that such regulations are consistent with the Second Amendment to the United States Constitution and the understanding that throughout American history private individuals have possessed firearms for home defense, hunting, and recreational purposes;
(b) Impose, as a matter of national policy, the following firearms regulations and prohibitions: (1) universal background checks as a prerequisite to purchase or acquisition of a firearm, (2) a prohibition on sales, loans, or other transfers of firearms to those under 21 years of age, subject to limited exceptions, (3) a minimum waiting period after the purchase or acquisition of a firearm before that firearm may be delivered to the buyer or acquirer, and (4) a prohibition on the private possession of assault weapons and other weapons of war; and be it further

There is no mention of the balance of power purpose for potential overthrow of a tyrannical government. Many observers suspect Governor Newsom put out the initiative to keep his name in the news as a possible replacement for President Biden, if President Biden pulls out of the 2024 presidential race during the last five months before the election.

Governor Newsom claims the restrictions on firearms ownership and the types of firearms allowed are popular among the electorate. It is hard to see how 2/3 of the states would desire to engage in such a risky political enterprise as an Article V convention, when the proposal is devoted to eviscerating the Second Amendment.  The proposed amendment would do so by specifically granting power to all levels of government to limit the sale, possession, carry, and use by individuals. The Second Amendment would be a dead letter in the law.

Roughly 60% of states are controlled by conservative legislatures and voters. It seems unlikely the necessary two thirds of state legislatures would sign up. In the last year, the only state to support Newsom's measure is California, where he, as Governor, has significant political clout.

An Article V convention is feared by both conservatives and far left activists. No one knows if such a convention would be bound to the terms of its charter.  Obtaining the approval of three quarters of state legislatures or state conventions to approve the results of an Article V convention  appears to be a near impossible task in today's contentious political climate.

©2024 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice and link are included.

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