SACRAMENTO – Today, Governor Gavin Newsom’s proposal for a Right to Safety – an amendment to the United States Constitution to ensure the people’s elected representatives can determine what gun safety laws are appropriate for their communities and to enshrine fundamental, broadly supported gun safety measures into law – was introduced as a joint resolution in the California Legislature by Senator Aisha Wahab and Assemblymember Reggie Jones-Sawyer.
The Right to Safety Amendment will raise the minimum age to buy a gun from 18 to 21, mandate universal background checks, institute a waiting period for all gun purchases, and ban assault rifles for civilians – while leaving the Second Amendment intact. Additionally, the Right to Safety will affirm Congress, states, and local governments can enact common-sense gun safety laws that save lives.
“In the time it will take to pass our Right to Safety Resolution calling for a constitutional convention, more Americans will lose their lives to gun violence than were killed on September 11,” said Governor Newsom. “How many more lives must be lost before we act? In California, with the help of the Legislature, we are providing a path to a safer America.”
Senator Wahab and Assemblymember Jones-Sawyer introduced Senate Joint Resolution 7 in the California State Senate, which is the first step to adoption of a Constitutional amendment. The joint resolution calls for a convention, also known as an Article V Convention or amendatory convention – one method for proposing amendments to the United States Constitution. When the resolution passes, California will become the first state in the nation to call for such a convention.
“As someone who values both the Second Amendment and has personally experienced the impact of gun violence, I am proud to partner with Governor Gavin Newsom on the Right to Safety Resolution,” said Senator Wahab. “Together, we are advocating for rational and responsible measures regarding firearms regulations, standing up for the memory of all individuals who have lost their lives to, or been deeply affected by, the tragic consequences of gun violence.”
“As Chair of the Assembly’s Public Safety Committee, I have worked on solid gun reform policies that Californians overwhelmingly support only to see Republican activist judges overturn the will of the people,” said Assemblymember Jones-Sawyer. “The Right to Safety proposal activates a real national discussion on gun violence and gives all Americans a voice in determining whether we continue down a road that sees innocent Americans slaughtered by weapons of war, or whether we choose sensible gun control measures without infringing upon the Second Amendment.”