Second attempt at State’s Gun Rights Amendment Would be a Cost to all Iowans

Iowa’s Legislature had been working these past two years to create an amendment, the right to bear arms, to our state’s constitution. Passed, slated and ready to go for our vote in the 2020 election, a “mishap” occurred, dissolving that bill. It has recently been resurrected.

On the surface, adding the right to own guns to our constitution isn’t alarming or particularly worrisome. After all, responsible gun owners already have that individual privilege under the federal constitution. Yet, there is more to this bill that should worry all Iowans, for those who own guns and those that don’t.

Two words embedded in the proposed amendment carry heavy weight for our physical safety and monetary costs. “Strict Scrutiny” is a legal term that would constrict state and local judges, proceeding over gun rights cases, to only the narrowest of rulings

Adding these words would be potentially dangerous and devastating to gun safety laws already in place. It could erase background checks, permits, and allow domestic abusers and felons the right to own guns. Additionally, and almost certainly, it will cost our state, through endless litigation, millions of dollars.

A recent state poll conducted by Everytown for Gun Safety Action Fund found, even among gun owners, a 2 to 1 margin opposing the language in the amendment. It also concluded that 90% support concealed carry permits with 92% supporting background checks.

If anything, these statistics show that Iowa lawmakers backing this bill are out of touch with the citizens of our state. They should heed our concerns over gun safety issues and the troubling amount of money that would be spent by taxpayers to cover litigation. Removing “Strict Scrutiny” from this amendment proposal would be more in line with the want of their constituents.

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