Change the Constitution and Restrict Gun Rights, Says Michael Moore

Michael Moore wants to repeal the Second Amendment and replace it with a 28th Amendment that prioritizes protection from gun violence over the right to own and fire guns. Noam Galai/Getty Images for for DKC/O&M

Documentary filmmaker Michael Moore is proposing to repeal the Second Amendment and replace it with a 28th Amendment that would severely restrict the ability to buy and own guns in America while prioritizing public safety from gun violence over the right to own and fire a gun.

Moore, known for such films as Fahrenheit 9/11 and Bowling for Columbine, posted his suggestion on Facebook on Wednesday. He calls for the complete repeal of the "ancient and outdated" Second Amendment, which he points out "was written before bullets and revolvers were even invented." He wants to scratch the vague language that has been the subject of so much political strife—"a well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed"—and replace it.

The new 28th Amendment, he says, should go something like this:

A well regulated State National Guard, being helpful to the safety and security of a State in times of need, along with the strictly regulated right of the people to keep and bear a limited number of non-automatic Arms for sport and hunting, with respect to the primary right of all people to be free from gun violence, this shall not be infringed.

In other words, he believes a Constitutional Amendment should guarantee each state can have a national guard and allow citizens to use guns for sport and gathering food, but first and foremost guarantees people the right to be protected from gun violence.

Moore goes on to propose specific regulations. For example, given the vast majority of gun violence is committed by men, any male attempting to buy a gun would have to get a waiver from his current wife or partner as well as his former wife or partner. In addition, all automatic and semiautomatic guns would be banned; no gun or clip could hold more than six bullets; guns should only be able to activate upon recognizing the fingerprint of their registered owners; and all guns must be stored in a licensed gun club or government-regulated gun-storage facility.

Moore then called for mental health care to become a national health priority with the appropriate funding, and for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to overturn rules prohibiting the study and funding of the gun violence epidemic in the U.S.: "Science will then be free to find out why we are ALONE among nations in killing each other at such a massive rate (hint: It's not just the guns - it's us as Americans)."

Within hours of his Facebook post going up, The New York Times published an op-ed by columnist Bret Stephens titled "Repeal the Second Amendment." In it, Stephens argued that there is only one way to fix the gun issue in America, and it's in his headline. Gun ownership shouldn't be outlawed entirely, he says, "but it doesn't need a blanket Constitutional protection, either."