No One Shocked by Newsom’s Amendment Proposal Going Down in Flames

AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli, Pool

California Gov. Gavin Newsom likely thought he was onto something when he proposed enshrining things like universal background checks and an assault weapon ban into the Constitution via an amendment.

After all, if the Second Amendment prevents gun control then a new amendment would change all of that.

Well, for once, he wasn’t entirely wrong. If you want gun control, you need an amendment that circumvents the Second Amendment on that front. 

Yet it was never going to be an easy sell. 

For one thing, you need two-thirds of the states to agree with the amendment, and considering that more than half of all states have constitutional carry laws, it seems unlikely they’d suddenly embrace a gun control amendment.

Newsom, however, seemed to think it could happen.

It seems no one is shocked that it’s not.

Gov. Gavin Newsom made headlines last summer for proposing a 28th Amendment to the United States Constitution enshrining a handful of gun control measures into the supreme law of the land.
There was some ginned up fanfare, with state Sen. Aisha Wahab praising Newsom as “a man of action” in the press release announcing the amendment.

Almost a year later, reports Bay Area News Group’s John Woolfolk, no other blue state has taken up Newsom on his proposal.
As Woolfolk notes, there are 18 other states with state legislatures controlled by the Democrats. But none have shown signs of following suit.
This is certainly not a surprise. Most states in the country have little interest in the sort of gun control measures pitched by Newsom.
Constitutional attorney Cody J. Wisniewski explained in these pages back in June: “Given only 10 states and Washington D.C. have any form of ban on so-called ‘assault weapons’ or any form of waiting period, while 27 states have enacted some iteration of free/constitutional/permitless carry, it is clear that there isn’t currently much appetite for Newsom’s particular brand of gun control across the country.”


The piece notes that this was really about Newsom trying to set up a run for the White House, which was obvious from the start–I really think he figured Biden would bow out or something and that he’d be positioned to step in–but it bears repeating.

In a Democratic primary, this would do nothing but help candidate Newsom. In the general, well, it depends on where people are at that point in time. Calls for an assault weapon ban didn’t hurt Biden four years ago so far as we can tell, but the public is fickle. Plus, the El Paso and Dayton massacres happened during the campaign, which probably helped.

Plus, on top of there not being as much will for gun control as Newsom might hope, at least some of those blue states are likely fearful of what else might come out of a constitutional convention. Once one is called, you can’t really restrain it to just focus on one topic. It could generate anything at all such as restrictions on abortion, certain forms of speech, or anything else under the sun. While they might welcome some of the possibilities, they might not be thrilled with others.

Newsom made a play, but no one seems excited by it. 

Hell, even anti-gun groups have been silent. That might be a sign that the only one played here is Newsom himself.


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