Friday, August 18, 2023

California Democrats Align with Newsom to Challenge Second Amendment

This week, it's clear that the Democrats from California are keenly pushing for changes to the Second Amendment. They are rallying behind Gov. Gavin Newsom's bid for a significant amendment to the Constitution focused on gun control, as per recent news articles.

Based on what The Sacramento Bee has covered, there's a push by Newsom and the Democrats to make pivotal changes to the Constitution concerning gun ownership age stipulations, mandating universal background checks, and placing a ban on assault weapons.

Earlier this week, a joint proposal was tabled by Sen. Aisha Wahab (D-Hayward) and Assemblyman Reggie Jones-Sawyer (D-Los Angeles) in support of Gov. Newsom’s amendment initiative.

Many initially considered Newsom’s June proposal as a mere attempt to gain publicity. However, with the introduction of the Wahab-Jones-Sawyer joint proposition, gun owners might have to rethink dismissing this as mere theatrics.

Speaking to KCRA News, Wahab elaborated on the challenging nature of their mission, emphasizing the reverence and protective sentiment associated with the Second Amendment. She argued that their resolution was about empowering states while still preserving the essence of the Second Amendment.

Contrarily, critics argue that Newsom's potential constitutional amendment compromises the inherent right to own and bear arms. They believe it essentially dilutes the Second Amendment. Reports, including one from The Patch, describe Newsom’s prospective 28th Amendment which would:

- Elevate the age requirement for gun purchases from 18 to 21.

- Ensure all gun purchasers undergo background checks.

- Implement a waiting period for every gun acquisition.

- Prohibit civilians from owning assault rifles.

- Enable Congress and local administrations to implement practical gun safety regulations.

However, critics argue that these alterations would significantly undermine the Second Amendment. Some ongoing federal lawsuits already oppose restrictions on young adults’ rights concerning firearms, which would be further suppressed under Newsom's plan.

Cases like Worth v. Harrington in Minnesota, spearheaded by the Second Amendment Foundation, are already challenging restrictions on young adults.

Given the situation, gun owners, especially in the West Coast regions like Oregon and Washington - where there's already a push for stringent gun control laws - should remain vigilant.

Newsom's statement to KTVU News highlighted his intent to utilize the Constitution to tackle the pressing issue of gun violence in America. While integrating such a gun control amendment to the Constitution is viewed skeptically by experts, Newsom remains hopeful. For instance, as The Sacramento Bee pointed out, Newsom believes that the required number of states would back the amendment.

The newspaper also clarified the intricate process. For the amendment to be ratified, two-thirds of the states would need to pass related constitutional convention legislations. Historically, no amendments have been realized through this convention method. This led experts to term Newsom’s ambition as 'practically unattainable.'

Reflecting on the broader picture, Newsom's criticism of the U.S. Supreme Court, particularly after the Bruen ruling, signifies its emerging role as a basis for challenging gun control laws countrywide.

The Patch's report revealed some resistance against Newsom's proposal. Adrian Malagon, chair of the Libertarian Party of California, called out Newsom's strategies as "unconstitutional." He emphasized that modifying the Constitution is a typical strategy of authoritative figures.

In conclusion, this recent maneuver by Newsom indicates that, at least in California, the Democrats are set on transforming the inherent right to bear arms into a tightly governed privilege.

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