COS Action President Mark Meckler Responds to Gov. Gavin Newsom’s Call for Article 5 Convention to Add Gun Control Amendment to Constitution
(Austin, TX—June 9, 2023) Mark Meckler, President of Convention of States Action (COSA)—an organization of more than 5 million active grassroots volunteers representing every state legislative district in the nation, focusing on restoring a culture of self-governance in America—issued the following statement in reply to CA Gov. Gavin Newsom’s comments about using an Article 5 Convention to add a gun control amendment to the U.S. Constitution:
“This announcement by Governor Newsom is a publicity stunt with absolutely no basis in reality. Governor Newsom clearly does not understand the most basic mechanics of an Article 5 convention, as given to us by our founding fathers in the Constitution.
“According to the Constitution, Mr. Newsom needs 34 state legislatures to support a resolution calling for a convention of states to meet and propose his specific amendment to restrict the 2nd Amendment rights of Americans.
“The math just doesn’t work, Newsom cannot find 34 states to back this proposal. Currently, 27 states have Constitutional Carry—-also known as permitless carry—-and 24 states allow a citizen to carry their handgun inside the state legislature. How do you get to 34 states willing to limit the 2nd Amendment, let alone the 38 states required to ratify?
“On the other hand, unlike Gov. Newsom’s ill-conceived proposal, our resolution calling for a convention of states to meet and solely focus on discussing amendments that ‘limit the power and jurisdiction of the federal government, impose fiscal restraints, and place term limits on federal officials’, has already passed in 19 states and is progressing in several other state legislatures. ”
Gov. Newsom proposed a constitutional amendment raising the minimum age to purchase a gun to 21; universal background checks; a “reasonable waiting period” for gun purchases; and “banning the civilian purchase of assault weapons.”
Article V of the U.S. Constitution gives states the power to call a Convention of States to propose amendments to the Constitution.
It takes 34 states to call a Convention of States and 38 to ratify any amendments that are proposed.
Currently 19 state legislatures have passed resolutions calling for a Convention of States, but specify that the convention can only discuss amendments that “limit the power and jurisdiction of the federal government, impose fiscal restraints, and place term limits on federal officials.”
States that have passed the Convention of States Resolution: Georgia, Alaska, Florida, Alabama, Tennessee, Indiana, Oklahoma, Louisiana, Arizona, North Dakota, Texas, Missouri, Arkansas, Utah, Mississippi, Wisconsin, South Carolina, Nebraska, and West Virginia.