Gavin Newsom’s anti-gun constitutional amendment fails to gain support from a single state after 1 year

By Lindsay Kornick of Fox News, Published June 10, 2024

Gov. Gavin Newsom’s, D-Calif., proposal to restrict gun rights through a 28th amendment to the U.S. Constitution has failed to gain national traction since it was unveiled one year ago.

Despite the Democratic governor’s enthusiasm in 2023, exactly zero states have agreed to his call for the constitutional convention necessary to amend the U.S. Constitution. 

Newsom claimed Sunday that this lack of progress was expected and the amendment could take decades to gain momentum. 

“Come on, no one was naive about this,” Newsom said in an interview with the Los Angeles Times. “This has been done before, but not recently. It will have its fits and starts. It will have its champions and will have its setbacks.”

The L.A. Times noted that Newsom’s office claimed to have reached out to several Republican and Democrat state legislatures to try and encourage a convention of states, but would not specify which ones. Despite the governor visiting and working with Idaho, Oregon and Washington on other issues in the last year, those states reported they hadn’t spoken with the governor on the gun amendment.

“No, I have not spoken to Gov. Newsom,” Idaho Democratic minority leader in the state senate Melissa Wintrow told the Times. “I’m not aware of if he’s been in communication with anybody. I have not.”

Wintrow added that red states with blue legislatures are unlikely to support the proposal anytime soon.

“There’s just no way the state is going to agree to that. It just isn’t going to happen. As I’ve described, the political climate here is such that it just wouldn’t even be on the table,” Wintrow said. “They would laugh.”

Fox News Digital reached out to Newsom’s office for a comment.

Newsom proposed his idea for the 28th Amendment in 2023 to combat gun violence.

“Our ability to make a more perfect union is literally written into the Constitution,” Newsom said during the 2023 announcement. “So today, I’m proposing the 28th Amendment to the United States Constitution to do just that. The 28th Amendment will enshrine in the Constitution commonsense gun safety measures that Democrats, Republicans, Independents, and gun owners overwhelmingly support — while leaving the Second Amendment unchanged and respecting America’s gun-owning tradition.”

The proposal would raise the federal minimum age to purchase a firearm from 18 to 21; mandate universal background checks to purchase firearms; institute a waiting period for all gun purchases; and ban “assault weapons.” It would also affirm that Congress, states and local governments can enact additional gun control measures.

State legislatures throughout the country claimed that Newsom did not reach out to them for a convention of states.

The Constitution can be amended by either Congress or a convention of states under Article V. Congress can pass a proposed amendment with a two-thirds vote in both the House and Senate, sending it to the states for ratification, which is how all previous 27 amendments have been accomplished. 

With virtually no chance that a constitutional amendment restricting gun rights will have enough support to pass through a narrowly divided Congress, Newsom is calling for an Article V convention of states to convene and draft his proposed amendment. Two-thirds of the state legislatures must pass a resolution calling for such a convention before it can convene to consider an amendment to the Constitution. 

If such a convention adopts a proposed amendment, it then heads back to the state legislatures for ratification. Three-fourths of the states must ratify a proposed amendment for it to be added to the Constitution

Lindsay Kornick is an associate editor for Fox News Digital.