Democrat-controlled California has done what iconic conservative commentator and Constitutional Scholar Mark Levin has long been urging Republican-led states to do: call for a Constitutional Convention via Article V of the U.S. Constitution - but, for a much different reason.
On Friday, radical Democrat California Governor Gavin Newsom announced that his state has passed a call for a Constitutional Convention of states:
“Governor Gavin Newsom’s proposal to amend the United States Constitution with a Right to Safety achieved a major milestone today as California became the first state in the nation to call for a Constitutional Convention for gun safety. With the Assembly’s approval of Senate Joint Resolution 7 authored by Senator Aisha Wahab and Assemblymember Reggie Jones-Sawyer, California has officially requested a constitutional convention.”
Newsom says he wants to use the convention to pass a 28th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution “to protect us against the uniquely American epidemic of gun violence.”
While Gov. Newsom’s announcement highlights four specific gun control measures contained in his proposed 28th Amendment, it also mentions a more sweeping threat to gun rights, subject to broad interpretation (emphasis added):
“Additionally, the 28th Amendment will affirm Congress, states, and local governments can enact additional common-sense gun safety regulations that save lives.”
The four changes to the Constitution specifically detailed in Newsom’s 28th Amendment are:
- Raising the minimum age to buy a gun from 18 to 21
- Mandating universal background checks
- Instituting a waiting period for all gun purchases
- Banning the sale of assault weapons and other weapons of war to civilians
“Our ability to make a more perfect union is literally written into the Constitution,” Gov. Newsom declares in his announcement.
Indeed, Mark Levin has long been urging states to hold a Constitutional Convention – but, to do so in order to save the nation from what Newsom and his fellow Democrats imagine to be “a more perfect union.”
"As far as the state legislators go, they have a responsibility. They have a duty under the federal Constitution under Article V to help save this country," Levin said on his nationally-syndicated radio program, while interviewing Convention of States President Mark Meckler.
“Convention of States is the only constitutional way to get our country back, and it will get it back in fundamental ways, Levin said at this year’s Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in Washington, DC.:
“We use the Constitution to save the Constitution – as opposed to the Left that uses the Constitution to destroy the Constitution”
“Washington is not going to fix Washington,” Levin said. “You are going to fix Washington through Convention of States, Article V.”
House Speaker Rep. Kevin McCarthy, a California Republican, is among the several prominent members of the GOP supporting Levin's call.
Democrats have denounced Republican calls for a Constitutional Convention, - and some see problems with Gov. Newsom’s initiative, as well.
For one thing, a Constitutional Convention wouldn’t be limited to just one issue (like gun control), as Newsom envisions. Instead, it would put all Democrat-favored laws at risk, as Democrat California State Senator Scott Wiener has warned.
“There is nothing in the Constitution that says we can have a Constitutional convention limited to one topic,” Wiener said, before voting against the bill in the California Senate.
“No resolution from the State of California will have any binding authority on what could occur should a Convention actually be called,” Gun Owners of California Executive Director Sam Paredes agrees.
What’s more, in order to convene a Constitutional Convention, at least 34 of the nation’s 50 states would have to call for it – and given that more than 27 states are actively taking steps to protect Second Amendment rights, Newsom’s scheme is a fool’s errand, Paredes notes in a letter to the California Senate.
And, while Gov. Newsom’s announcement boasts that “California became the first state in the nation to call for a Constitutional Convention for gun safety,” California is far from the only state calling for a Constitutional Convention.
In fact, 19 states have already passed a Convention of States Article V application – but, their goal is to “limit the power and jurisdiction of the federal government, impose fiscal restraints, and place term limits on federal officials.” Additionally, more than two dozen other states are considering the application by conservatives this year, Convention of States Action reports.
Regardless, if a convention is convened, it can be used to address more than just one issue, regardless of the singular goals of either Democrats or Republicans.