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Governor Newsom Proposes Historic 28th Amendment to the United States Constitution to End America’s Gun Violence Crisis

Posted on June 10, 2023

Published: Jun 08, 2023 www.gov.ca.gov

Governor Newsom Proposes Historic 28th Amendment to the United States Constitution to End America’s Gun Violence Crisis

Principles of proposed 28th Amendment broadly supported by the American public and gun owners

SACRAMENTO – Today Governor Gavin Newsom proposed a 28th Amendment to the United States Constitution to enshrine fundamental, broadly supported gun safety measures into law. While leaving the 2nd Amendment unchanged and respecting America’s gun-owning tradition, the Governor’s proposal guarantees common sense constitutional protections and gun safety measures that Democrats, Republicans, independent voters, and gun owners overwhelmingly support – including universal background checks, raising the firearm purchase age to 21, instituting a firearm purchase waiting period, and barring the civilian purchase of assault weapons.

“Our ability to make a more perfect union is literally written into the Constitution,” said Governor Gavin Newsom. “So today, I’m proposing the 28th Amendment to the United States Constitution to do just 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 28th Amendment will permanently enshrine four broadly supported gun safety principles into the U.S. Constitution:

  • 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 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.

Additionally, the 28th Amendment will affirm Congress, states, and local governments can enact additional common-sense gun safety regulations that save lives.

Passage of the 28th Amendment will require a convention to propose amendments to the United States Constitution, also known as an Article V Convention or amendatory convention. Working in partnership with members of the California State Senate and Assembly, California will be the first state in the nation to call for such a convention with a joint resolution being introduced by California State Senator Aisha Wahab and Assemblymember Reggie Jones-Sawyer. The Governor will work with grassroots supporters, elected and civic leaders, and broad and diverse coalitions across the nation to fight for the passage of similar resolutions in other state legislatures to ensure the convening of a constitutional convention limited to this subject. 33 other states, in addition to California, would need to take action to convene such a convention.

“A man of action, Governor Gavin Newsom has the backbone to actually do something about the gun fetish culture around weapons of war, and tackle the relentless problem of gun violence and mass shootings,” said Senator Aisha Wahab. “As someone impacted by gun violence, I have an obligation to elevate the voices of victims and those of us left behind in the wake of tragedy.”

“I am proud to introduce this resolution to protect the common sense gun reform legislation our Assembly Public Safety Committee has championed over the years,” said Assemblymember Reggie Jones-Sawyer. “We cannot stand idly while courts roll back our work and diminish the ability of our Legislature to keep Californians safe. This bold but fair resolution calls on other states to join us in protecting some of the most effective ways of reducing gun violence.”

With gun violence claiming the lives of over 110 Americans a day, California’s nation-leading gun safety laws serve as a valuable blueprint for other states and Congress to save lives. California’s gun safety laws work. In its most recent scorecard, California ranked as the #1 state for gun safety by the Giffords Law Center, and according to the most recent data, the state saw a 37% lower gun death rate than the national average. According to the CDC, California’s gun death rate was the 44th lowest in the nation, with 9 gun deaths per 100,000 people – compared to 16.36 deaths per 100,000 nationally, 33.9 in Mississippi, 21.2 in Oklahoma, and 15.6 in Texas.

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