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California Becomes First State in America to Call for Constitutional Convention on Right to Safety

SACRAMENTO – 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.

What Governor Newsom said: “The Right to Safety Amendment would preserve the integrity of the Second Amendment, while enshrining in our Constitution commonsense safety provisions that are supported overwhelmingly by the American people. This action is even more urgent as radical judges use a warped interpretation of our Constitution to roll back gun safety laws in California, and across the country. In the face of decades of Congressional inaction and unelected judges that are putting Americans in danger, it is time for citizens to stand up for common sense to protect us against the uniquely American epidemic of gun violence.”

The Right to Safety Amendment would ensure the people’s elected representatives can determine what gun safety laws are appropriate for their communities and enshrine fundamental, broadly supported gun safety measures into law, including:

  • 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

“I’m proud to carry the Right to Safety Resolution. I worked hard with my colleagues to get more than 50% of the legislature, in both houses, to co-author this resolution,” said Senator Wahab. “It’s important to uplift the voices of victims we lost, and victims that live with the aftermath of gun violence. We need to take action, and with SJR7 we are taking action to save lives.”

“The passage of SJR 7, the Right to Safety Resolution, brings us a step closer to having a real national debate and course of action to address gun violence in our country,” said Assemblymember Reggie Jones-Sawyer. “Maintaining the integrity of the Second Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, while codifying a new constitutional amendment that protects citizens from modern day weapons of war, should be a national priority. This action by the California Legislature puts the voices and concerns of Americans ahead of activist Republican judges who cater to special interest groups.”

California’s Gun Safety Laws Work

The Right to Safety will give communities the tools they need to adopt similar policies to keep people safer.

  • California ranked #1 for gun safety
  • State’s gun death rate is 43% lower than the rest of the U.S.
  • Gun laws helped save 19,000 Californians in the last decade
  • If other states shared California’s gun death rate, 140,000 Americans would still be with us today
  • Since early 1990s, California has cut its gun death rate in half
  • Over half of crime guns traced by authorities were sold in other states