An amendment to the California state constitution, which articulates citizens’
rights to keep and bear arms, has been given 180 days to qualify for the
November ballot. The initiative
needs 650,000 signatures of registered voters in order to meet
requirements for consideration by California voters. Sponsors of the
initiative are optimistic.

California is one of only five states whose constitutions are silent
on the issue of gun rights, including Iowa, Minnesota, New Jersey and
New York.

Geoff Metcalf

The initiative, sponsored by popular KSFO talk radio host and
WorldNetDaily columnist /news/archives.asp?ARCHIVE_ID=5Geoff Metcalf,
states: “The inalienable right to defend life and liberty as set forth
in Article I, Section 1 of the California Constitution includes the
fundamental right of each person to keep and bear arms for the defense
of self, family and home. This right shall not be infringed.”

A key component of the proposed constitutional amendment is the
requirement that “all state government action regulating the right of
law-abiding persons to acquire and possess arms for the defense of self,
family and home, shall be subject to strict scrutiny, in the same
respect as the freedoms of speech and of the press.”

Attorney and co-sponsor of the initiative Donald Kilmer told
WorldNetDaily that, if approved, the amendment will be used as a tool in
legal challenges against existing gun laws.

“Constitutional law doesn’t tell people what they can and can’t do,”
he explained. “Constitutional amendments change the form of

Kilmer went on to say that the amendment would re-define the
relationship between California citizens and their government with
relation to firearms laws by shifting the burden of proof. Rather than
citizens being required to challenge controversial gun legislation in
the courts, the state would be compelled to justify a gun control
proposal before it is made law.

Surprisingly, California’s Joint Legislative Budget Committee, an
analytical arm of the Democrat-controlled legislature, admitted that
“savings could result from the potential reduction in crime resulting
from a larger number of citizens possessing firearms for self-defense”
— although the committee characterized the finding as “inconclusive.”

Metcalf, who sponsored a failed attempt to obtain a referendum of a
controversial gun law in California last year, says he is “moderately
optimistic” that he will collect a million signatures, almost twice what
is required, by the June cut-off date.

Other states with gun rights clauses in their constitutions include
such notoriously liberal states as Vermont and Hawaii.

Nevada citizens are guaranteed “the right to keep and bear arms for
security and defense, for lawful hunting and recreational use and for
other lawful purposes,” and Maine’s Constitution states: “Every citizen
has a right to keep and bear arms, and this right shall never be

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