In a new interview, Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban proposed an “update” to the Second Amendment that would protect the rights of gun owners and bolster the authority of states to dictate firearm policy within their borders.
“I would go to change the Second Amendment in ways that people probably wouldn't expect,” says Cuban, who backed Hillary Clinton in the 2016 presidential election and is mulling a 2020 bid as an Independent.
The billionaire entrepreneur said the Second Amendment should first ensure that Americans can own firearms without running a risk that the government will seize their weapons.
“One, every American citizen has the right to own a gun,” Cuban says. “Two, the federal government will never be allowed to ever confiscate that gun from an individual.”
Next, he said states should have wide latitude to determine gun policy within their borders.
“States have the right to manage the ownership—the purchase, ownership, and management—of guns owned and held within their borders,” says Cuban, a host of the television show “Shark Tank.”
“If you live in a state like Texas, if the law in Texas is open carry, so be it,” he adds. “If you live in Pennsylvania where they are more stringent and they don't want you to be able to have a gun other than in your own premises or under lock and key or you have to do a background check, then that's up to them to decide.”
In January, the Supreme Court agreed to hear a Second Amendment challenge against a New York City law that restricts the movement of guns about the city. The case could be used to expand gun rights now that the high court has a conservative majority.
Cuban made the comments to Editor-in-Chief Andy Serwer in a conversation that aired on Yahoo Finance on Thursday in an episode of “Influencers with Andy Serwer,” a weekly interview series with leaders in business, politics, and entertainment.
While Cuban is known for the Mavericks and “Shark Tank,” he made his first billions with an online streaming company called AudioNet that he co-founded in 1995. The company, which later became broadcast.com, sold to Yahoo in 1999 for stock valued at $5.7 billion. Soon after, in 2000, Cuban purchased the NBA’s Dallas Mavericks for $285 million; the team is now valued at $2.3 billion, according to Forbes. He also co-founded 2929 Entertainment, a film production and distribution company.
Cuban has invested in hundreds of start-ups as a host of the TV show “Shark Tank,” which he joined in 2012.
‘It’s not easy to change an amendment’
In recent years, gun control advocates have largely shied away from efforts to alter the constitution, since the difficult amendment process would require significant resources without the guarantee of a favorable outcome.
A constitutional amendment must be proposed by a two-thirds majority in the U.S. House of Representatives and Senate, or by a constitutional convention called by two-thirds of state legislatures. The proposal then requires approval from three-fourths of states.
“It's not easy to change an amendment,” Cuban acknowledges.
But the status quo presents its own challenges, he said.
“We're trying to take a Second Amendment that has been analyzed up and down and backwards and forwards, and it's created its own set of problems,” he adds.
“Let's update it.”
Editor’s note: An original version of this article omitted the fact that ratification requires approval by three-fourths of states. The article has been updated.
Andy Serwer is editor-in-chief of Yahoo Finance.