A group of Second Amendment advocates is moving forward with a plan to put the right to keep and bear arms in the California Constitution.
Banking on engaging the state’s 13 million gun owners, the 2AforCA effort this week began taking what they term “signature commitments” from registered voters in an effort to build a foundation for the signatures they want to add a constitutional amendment protecting gun rights in California.
“The goal is to stop the insanity coming out of Sacramento and return gun rights to all law-abiding Californians,” Barry Bahrami, one of the group’s organizers, told Guns.com. “There are many gun rights supporters on both sides of the aisle in California. It’s not just a Republican issue. And so, it’s time to get this done.”
In just the first few hours of the effort, which kicked off Thursday, the campaign picked up 8,000 commitments. By Friday morning, the number stood at 14,161.
Bahrami said front-loading the campaign with pledged signers will help speed the petition process along when it goes active. Once the petition process is filed and given the go-ahead to collect signatures, which will start as soon as they reach 800,000 commitments, the group will have six months to collect 585,000 to put the constitutional amendment on the next general election ballot. Further, the effort will have the benefit of petitions that can be printed at home and mailed in, similar to the successful drive to recall Gov. Grey Davis in 2002.
The effort stemmed from the Veto Gunmageddon referendum effort last fall which sought to gather 365,000 signatures on seven different petitions to roll back a group of pending gun control laws. Hamstrung with a narrow six-week window and no budget, the effort came up short, collecting just over half the number of signatures needed, despite hundreds of volunteers and signing locations.
While Californians’ right to keep and bear arms, as in the rest of the country, is nominally covered under the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, a “Yes” vote would, in theory, give state lawmakers a mandate to protect gun rights from future perceived encroachments, and an additional legal bulwark to challenge current restrictive laws.
“California is not lost until we actually give up and nobody is giving up, ever,” said Bahrami.