SJR 7: Gun Owners of California Letter of Opposition
August 17, 2023
Senator Aisha Wahab
Sacramento, California 95814
RE: SJR 7 | OPPOSE
Dear Senator Wahab:
Gun Owners of California is writing to express our strong opposition to SJR 7.
SJR 7 calls for the United States Congress to call for a Constitutional Convention under Article V of the U.S. Constitution for the purpose of proposing a new amendment, specifically relating to firearms. Although there are many, many Constitutional concerns with this resolution – the policies of which have been debated numerous times before this Legislature, I want to address the most obvious which is currently before us: this is an exercise in futility and a waste of taxpayer dollars.
As you are assuredly aware, a Constitutional Convention can be called in one of two ways, either by Congress, upon 2/3rds approval of the U.S. House of Representatives and Senate, or by an application of 2/3rds of the States. It is important to note that no application by the States has successfully garnered the required 2/3rd vote.
Further, as there are literally no provisions in the limitation of the subject matter as to what can be considered by the delegates once a Convention is called, SJR 7 makes a weak attempt to mitigate this great concern. The door will be flung wide open for other issues – not related to firearms – to be addressed. Even though the resolution states that the request for an amendment would be withdrawn if the delegates consider any other subjects, it is naïve to believe this would happen, plus its very clear that once a Constitutional Convention is called, it cannot be undone. No resolution from the State of California will have any binding authority on what could occur should a Convention actually be called.
Finally, a fact absent from the Governor’s national campaign in this regard is that ratification requires the approval of ¾ of all states. Given that 27 of the 50 States have declared themselves “Constitutional Carry” and are actively working to divest themselves of statutes that violate the Second Amendment, this is an obvious unattainable goal.
Building on the legal precedents established by the United States Supreme Court in Miller v US, Heller v Washington DC, McDonald v Chicago, Caetano v Massachusetts, and New York State Rifle and Pistol Association v Bruen, the Second Amendment has been defined as an individual right. What’s more, neither Federal nor State governments can infringe on that right with gun control laws that have no historical analog to the founding era based on text as informed by history.
Unfortunately, there are those who have long believed that California is a unique entity and for some reason, immune from Constitutional provisions – some going so far as to say “We’re California, and we don’t pay attention to the Constitution.” Yet, because of the aforementioned court rulings, this has clearly angered Governor Newsom, so he is therefore attempting to change the document which has ably guaranteed the rights of U.S. citizens for over 200 years.
For these reasons that Gun Owners of California stands in strong opposition to SJR 7.
Sam Paredes, Executive Director
cc: Members of the Senate Public Safety Committee