California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) called Thursday for a constitutional amendment to impose gun control on the country, claiming that his proposal “leaves the 2nd Amendment intact.”
The Second Amendment states that the right to bear arms “shall not be infringed,” so it is unclear how Newsom’s proposed Twenty-eighth Amendment, which restricts that right, would leave the 2nd Amendment “intact.”
Moreover, since a two-thirds vote of Congress is generally required to launch the process of amending the Constitution, it is unclear how Newsom intends to begin if, as he says, Congress is responsible for inaction.
The only alternative route to a constitutional amendment is to hold a convention of the states under Article V of the Constitution, a prospect that conservatives would savor and have trying to organize for nearly a decade.
Newsom appears to endorse the idea of a convention of the states, as he explains in a video on Twitter (above): “Convening a constitutional convention requires two-thirds of the states to call for this [amendment].”
He claims that California will be the “first” state to call for such a convention, but in fact 19 states, most of which are governed by Republicans, have already called for such a convention to ratify conservative proposals.
Conservatives such as radio host Mark Levin have called for such a convention to shore up the original vision of the Constitution. Left-wing groups like Common Cause have described such a convention as “dangerous.”
Regardless of whether an amendment to the Constitution originates in Congress or in a convention of states, it would require a three-fourths majority of states to ratify it before it becomes adopted and takes effect.
It would appear that Newsom, who is suspected of harboring presidential ambitions, is using the call for a new amendment to position himself as a Democratic leader on the issue, rather than to achieve the declared result.
Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News and the host of Breitbart News Sunday on Sirius XM Patriot on Sunday evenings from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. ET (4 p.m. to 7 p.m. PT). He is the author of the new biography, Rhoda: ‘Comrade Kadalie, You Are Out of Order’. He is also the author of the recent e-book, Neither Free nor Fair: The 2020 U.S. Presidential Election. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.
This article has been updated.