Senator Portantino Joins Governor Newsom in Calling for a Constitutional Amendment to End America’s Gun Violence Epidemic

Thursday, June 8 2023

For Immediate Release: June 8, 2023

Contact: Lerna Shirinian, (818) 409-0400


Senator Portantino Joins Governor Newsom in Calling for a Constitutional Amendment to End America’s Gun Violence Epidemic

SACRAMENTO – Senator Anthony J. Portantino (D – Burbank) announced his support of Governor Newsom’s proposal for a 28th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution that would guarantee common sense gun safety measures and protections broadly supported by the American public and gun owners. The proposal includes universal background checks, raising the firearm purchase age to 21, instituting a reasonable waiting period for all gun purchases, and banning the purchase of assault rifles for civilians. Senator Portantino will co-author the Senate Resolution that will begin the constitutional amendment process.

“With the radicalization of the Supreme Court having a detrimental impact on the public safety of all Americans as it systematically dismantles common sense gun legislation, we must look at a constitutional amendment to both ban assault weapons and to protect the sanctity of California’s ability to regulate firearms and keep our citizens safe,” stated Senator Anthony Portantino. “I applaud Governor Newsom for his leadership and I am eager to help this effort protect all Americans from the increasing threat of gun violence. I know what it’s like to have the courts overturn my work to keep high-capacity rifles out of teenage deadly hands and I’m fed up and willing to help the Governor lead the push for this important amendment,” concluded Senator Portantino.  

The Governor stated in a press release today: “Our ability to make a more perfect union is literally written into the Constitution.  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 common sense gun safety measures that Democrats, Republicans, Independents, and gun owners overwhelmingly support – while leaving the 2nd Amendment unchanged and respecting America’s gun-owning tradition.”

Passage of the 28th Amendment will require a convention to propose amendments to the United States Constitution, also known as an Article V Convention or amendatory convention. It will also affirm that Congress, states, and local governments can enact additional common-sense gun safety regulations that save lives.

Senator Portantino has long been a champion of common-sense gun reform policies. During his time in the Assembly, he successfully banned the open carry of handguns and rifles in California and as Senator, he raised the firearm purchase age in California to twenty-one.  The Senator has authored legislation related to firearms storage and gun purchase safeguards, as well as a legislation that reduces the number of firearms an unlicensed individual is annually able to sell and the frequency with which they are able to sell. Last year, he authored legislation aimed at preventing tragic schools shootings and a major gun reform measure that offers a new tool to combat the rise in gun violence and save lives – a private right of action.

This year, Governor Newsom, Attorney General Bonta and the Senator have partnered to author SB 2 - California’s response to the Supreme Court ruling that made it easier for citizens to acquire conceal-carry permits. It makes significant improvements to California’s existing conceal-carry weapon laws and expands the list of prohibited places where guns can be carried.