Tuesday, August 1, 2023

Libertarian Party of California Rejects Governor Newsom's Suggested 28th Amendment


A recently proposed initiative by California Governor Gavin Newsom to craft a 28th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution as a workaround to the Second Amendment has faced stern resistance, notably from the Libertarian Party of California. The suggested amendment has multiple components such as elevating the minimum firearm purchasing age from 18 to 21, enforcing compulsory "universal" background checks, implementing a "reasonable" waiting period for firearm acquisition, and prohibiting civilian ownership of what he and like-minded advocates label as "assault weapons." Further, the amendment seeks to acknowledge the right of Congress, state, and local governments to enact supplementary "common-sense" firearm safety regulations.

Newsom, while unveiling his plan, stated, "Our capacity to create a more ideal union is directly inscribed into the Constitution," and added, "Hence, I'm presenting the 28th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution to accomplish precisely that. The 28th Amendment will inscribe in the Constitution common-sense gun safety measures that have overwhelming support from Democrats, Republicans, Independents, and firearm owners—while preserving the Second Amendment intact and respecting America’s firearm-owning tradition."

On July 24, the Libertarian Party of California passed a resolution opposing Newsom's plan for the new amendment, arguing it would revoke the natural rights intrinsic to our nation.

The resolution declares, "The Libertarian Party of California denounces any Constitutional Amendment intended to impede life and liberty," and adds, "Such curbs on civil liberties are invariably precursors to future oppression and the erosion of human life." It concludes with a call for widespread condemnation of Newsom's proposed 28th Amendment and a demand for the repeal of all laws that infringe on the individual liberties of law-abiding citizens.

Garrison Ham, a member of the San Diego County Libertarian Party and the author of the resolution, warned that such an action would be harmful to everyone in the nation, not just Californians.

In an exclusive interview with Firearms News, Ham pointed out, "It’s a straightforward assault on civil liberties. It commences with the Second Amendment, then proceeds to the First Amendment, then to the Fourth and Fifth amendments. This initiative is not just about firearms. This individual is recklessly altering our entire legal framework to accommodate policies that have proven to be unsuccessful, endangered communities, and marginalized individuals."

Many view Newsom's proposal as a publicity stunt not expected to have any real impact. Still, in advocating for the amendment, Newsom is effectively paving his way towards national politics.

"Many laws are being invalidated in court, some for the second or third time, in the post-Bruen climate. So, he now wants to alter the Constitution," Ham continued. "But in reality, I don't believe he's seeking to change the Constitution. He probably knows it won't pass the Constitutional test. If I were to speculate, I'd say he's probably just trying to fundraise for a nationwide campaign."

Many left-leaning political advocates hope for Newsom to enter the Democratic presidential race, seeing him as a potential successor to President Joe Biden. Considering the detrimental impact Newsom has had on California during his governorship, the prospect of him becoming president is a cause for concern. Adrian F. Malagon, chairman of the San Diego County Libertarian Party of California, also commented on the resolution and Newsom's proposed amendment, pointing out that the issue is not just limited to Democrats.

In a press release announcing the resolution, Malagon said, "The relentless assault on our civil rights by Democrats and Republicans is failing in the courts. Gov. Newsom is aware that his policies are unconstitutional, so his last resort is to change the law. This is a characteristic trait of authoritarian leaders."

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