Retired U.S. Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens is calling for the Second Amendment to be repealed, citing the protests in response to the deadly school shooting in Parkland, Florida, as an impetus for the change.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, the 97-year-old Stevens 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 says that ruling has provided the National Rifle Association the "with a propaganda weapon of immense power.''
Stevens retired from the court in 2010, after more than 35 years.
President Donald Trump responded Wednesday on Twitter, saying, "THE SECOND AMENDMENT WILL NEVER BE REPEALED!"
"As much as Democrats would like to see this happen, and despite the words yesterday of former Supreme Court Justice Stevens, NO WAY. We need more Republicans in 2018 and must ALWAYS hold the Supreme Court," Trump said.
THE SECOND AMENDMENT WILL NEVER BE REPEALED! As much as Democrats would like to see this happen, and despite the words yesterday of former Supreme Court Justice Stevens, NO WAY. We need more Republicans in 2018 and must ALWAYS hold the Supreme Court!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 28, 2018
White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said the Trump administration is focused on removing guns from dangerous individuals, "not blocking all Americans on their constitutional rights."
Repealing the amendment would be extremely difficult. An amendment to the Constitution can only be proposed either by Congress with a two thirds vote in both houses or by a constitutional convention called for by two thirds of the state legislatures. The amendment then has to be approved by three quarters of the states.