Many might think this is a joke, but lawmakers in the Hawaiian Senate actually filed SCR42. This bill urges the U.S. Congress to adopt an amendment to clarify the constitutional right to bear arms. One of the the primary supporters is Sen. Stanley Chang, who has the notoriety of defeating the last Republican in the Hawaiian Senate. So, if this bill lands on the senate floor for a vote, there will not be a single Republican vote cast.
The resolution basically states that the wording of the 2nd Amendment has created considerable debate, particularly regarding what the founders intended. It even states that some people believe it creates an individual constitutional right for citizens of the United States. However, others believe that the founders intended this right for only state militias. The resolution even mentions the 1939 case United States v. Miller, which took a collective rights version of the 2nd Amendment. In fact, most of the wording of the non-binding resolution pushes the collective rights argument for the 2nd Amendment. This argument basically states that the 2nd Amendment covers only state militias, and does not provide an individual right for Americans to own firearms.
Hawaii Lawmakers Forgot About Supreme Court and Constitution
Now the resolution does mention the Heller case, in which the Supreme Court ruled individuals have a right to guns. However, this resolution wants Congress to change or repeal the 2nd Amendment, which would eliminate that right. Of course, Congress can’t do this on its own, and the process is very difficult. In fact, only one amendment has ever been repealed — the 18th regarding prohibition.
To change or repeal the 2nd Amendment, two thirds of both the House and Senate must vote in favor of the amendment; two thirds of state legislatures can also propose amendments via Constitutional Convention. The President does not sign this proposal to make it law. Instead, the proposal must be sent to the governors of all the states, who either submit it to the state legislature for ratification or convene a state ratifying convention. If three quarters of state legislatures or ratifying conventions approve the measure, it becomes part of the Constitution.
The founders devised a way to amend the Constitution, but purposely made the process difficult. They didn’t believe changes should be made frivolously just because groups grew to power. So, the Hawaii lawmakers resolution will not go far. However, it shows exactly what anti gunners really want — a complete ban on an individual right to guns.