Did you know that Iowa is one of only six states that do not recognize our Second Amendment rights in their constitutions? It may seem hard to believe, but Iowa, which adopted “shall issue” Permits to Carry Weapons in 2010 and became a “constitutional carry” state in 2021, shares that dubious distinction with California, New York, New Jersey, Maryland, and Minnesota.
Many freedom-loving individuals and groups have been hard at work for years to get this fixed! Amending Iowa’s Constitution is no easy task. A proposed amendment must pass two consecutive Iowa General Assemblies before the issue is placed on the ballot for Iowa voters to decide its fate. The following amendment is on the second page of your ballot. Remember to turn your ballot over and find the Constitutional Amendment section and vote YES.
The proposed Amendment reads:
“The right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed. The sovereign state of Iowa affirms and recognizes this right to be a fundamental individual right. Any and all restrictions of this right shall be subject to strict scrutiny.”
Many have been confused by the inclusion of the term “strict scrutiny.” The choice of this phrase was quite purposeful since strict scrutiny is the highest standard of judicial review used by courts when the constitutionality of laws, regulations, or other governmental policies is challenged. This standard is generally applied in cases involving fundamental rights, yet courts have generally avoided using it when considering possible violations of the right to keep and bear arms. The proposed amendment’s mandate that the courts employ strict scrutiny provides strong protection of our right to keep and bear arms.
Encourage your friends and neighbors to vote yes on the constitutional amendment on November 8th!