Retired supreme Court Justice john Paul Stevens called for the repeal the the second Amendment on Tuesday, wading into the fee political dispute over gun control that was reignited by numerous mass shootings in current months.

It’s a acquainted appeal native the 97-year old jurist, who was called to the bench by president Gerald Ford in 1975 and retired in 2010. However Stevens fix up his plea in one op-ed in the new York Times, three days after ~ activists staged massive gun manage demonstrations in Washington, D.C., and in other cities roughly the country and also world end the weekend. Stevens praised the protesters because that demanding reforms to present gun laws, but said they must go further.

“The demonstrators need to seek much more effective and more lasting reform. Lock should demand a repeal the the 2nd Amendment,” Stevens wrote.

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Repealing the amendment, Stevens said, would successfully overturn the controversial 2008 supreme Court ruling D.C. V. Heller, which uncovered that the 2nd Amendment safeguarded “an individual best to possess a firearm” for the objective of self-defense.

In his op-ed, Stevens, who dissented in the 5-4 decision, created that the ruling provided the national Rifle combination “a propaganda weapon of enormous power.”

He added: “Overturning that decision via a constitution amendment to get rid of the 2nd Amendment would be an easy and would certainly do much more to weaken the NRA’s capacity to stymie legislature debate and also block constructive gun manage legislation than any other obtainable option.”

So, what would the process of repealing the 2nd Amendment actually look like?

For starters, the would call for the ratification of another amendment. This isn’t simple step, however it’s to be done before: ~ the U.S. Prohibition alcohol sales in the 18th Amendment, the nation later repealed the controversial amendment about a decade and also a half later, with the 21st amendment.


Retired U.S. Can be fried Court Justice john Paul Stevens, seen departing the funeral that U.S. Can be fried Court combine Justice Antonin Scalia in ~ the Basilica of the nationwide Shrine that the Immaculate Conception in Washington, top top Feb. 20, 2016. File photo by Carlos Barria/Reuters

There are two pathways because that proposing another amendment. In the very first scenario, conference proposes an amendment v a two-thirds bulk vote in the House and Senate.

The other option is because that two-thirds the state legislatures — it is 34 says — to contact a constitution convention. In both scenarios, three-fourths of the states — 38 states — would have actually to provide their rubber stamp of approval come ratify the suggest amendment.

So far, however, none of the 27 amendments to the Constitution have come the end of the constitution convention process. And remember in its 223-year lifespan, the Constitution has actually been amended only 27 times. The critical amendment, concerning U.S. Legislators’ salaries, was ratified in 1992.

What’s next?

The society media reaction to Stevens’ suggestion was swift.

Some scholars listed that Stevens’ op-ed can be counterproductive to legislative efforts to control guns, which would certainly have wider public assistance than repealing the 2nd Amendment. While only around a 5th of Americans assistance repealing the 2nd Amendment, follow to a February Economist/YouGov poll, about 60 percent that those polled stated they favored stricter gun laws.

“To frame it as we deserve to only have actually gun regulation if we repeal the #2Amendment” is not just wrong together a issue of constitutional message & history but likewise sets the motion up because that failure,” the legal expert Elizabeth Wydra tweeted.

Josh Chafetz, a professor at Cornell regulation School, claimed that Democrats might focus their power instead ~ above winning back the White House and also Senate. Then, they can “appoint judges that share Stevens’s views and also who will therefore narrow and eventually overturn Heller,” Chafetz created in a tweet. .

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In a statement Tuesday, NRA executive, management Director chris Cox dubbed Stevens’ proposal a “radical idea.”

Stevens’ disagreements is proof that “the gun-control lobby is no much longer distancing themselves from the radical idea that repealing the 2nd Amendment and banning every firearms,” Cox said.

Left: In an op-ed Tuesday, retired supreme Court Justice john Paul Stevens called for repealing the second Amendment. File photo by rick Gershon/Getty photos