Retired U.S. Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens is calling for the Second Amendment to be repealed, citing the protests in response to the deadly school shooting in Parkland, Florida, as an impetus for the change.
In an op-ed in Tuesday's New York Times, Stevens, 97, writes that a constitutional amendment "to get rid of" the Second Amendment "would do more to weaken the NRA's ability to stymie legislative debate and block constructive gun control legislation than any other available option."
Stevens was on the losing end of a 2008 ruling in which the high court held that the Second Amendment gives individuals the right to own a gun for self-defense. He said that ruling had provided the National Rifle Association "with a propaganda weapon of immense power.''
Stevens, who retired from the court in 2010 after serving more than 35 years, received pushback over the op-ed.
The White House supports the Second Amendment and is focused on removing guns from dangerous individuals, "not blocking all Americans on their constitutional rights," said Sarah Huckabee Sanders, spokeswoman for President Donald Trump.
Repealing the amendment would be extremely difficult. An amendment to the Constitution — a proposal to repeal an amendment would itself be a new amendment — can be proposed only by Congress, with a two-thirds vote in each house, or by a constitutional convention called for by two-thirds of the state legislatures. If it were to clear either of those hurdles, the proposed amendment would have to be ratified by three-quarters of the 50 states, or 38, to become law.