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Republican State Rep. Steve Holt provided another solid defense of gun rights on Tuesday. Holt chaired the subcommittee on the right to keep and bear arms amendment.

Holt talked about the Second Amendment right as a fundamental right. And fundamental rights, he said, deserve strict scrutiny.

“Why would anyone want Iowans’ rights, one right or another, less rigorously protected than say the right to freedom of speech, or the right to peaceably assemble, or the right to freedom of religion? Our constitution sets out certain God-given natural rights. Life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Unalienable rights – unalienable – a right which cannot be sold, transferred or in any way taken away.

“Life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, unalienable rights for all Americans. The right to someone’s own life, and the pursuit of their own happiness, their own destiny, cannot be separated from the right to defend that life. Hence the fundamental right to keep and bear arms in our Second Amendment.”

In 2021, it’s clear that freedom and liberty are fragile, Holt said. He acknowledged previous court cases in which Second Amendment rights were essentially decided by one vote.

And with much up in the air in terms of packing the U.S. Supreme Court, Iowa needs this constitutional amendment. Iowa, after all, is one of just six states that doesn’t have a right to keep and bear arms amendment in its constitution.

Holt said that those minority justices in those Second Amendment cases have created a road map to the future destruction of Second Amendment rights.

Author: Jacob Hall