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Iowa is one of only six states without a state constitutional amendment protecting firearms rights.  On November 8th, Iowans will have the opportunity to vote on a new amendment for the state of Iowa’s constitution. One that strengthens the right to keep and bear arms for law abiding Iowans have the right to keep and bear arms.  The language in the proposed amendment is like the language found in the United States Constitution.  It reads as follows:

“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.”

For years, House Republicans have worked to protect and strengthen rights for law abiding Iowans for the increasingly aggressive encroachment of left-wing progressive politicians. This language requires a court reviewing Iowa’s firearms laws to use strict scrutiny. This is the highest standard of judicial review and requires the government to prove the law was passed to further a “compelling governmental interest” and the law is narrowly tailored to achieve that interest. This language, if adopted, does not invalidate Iowa’s current or future laws unless the laws don’t serve a compelling governmental interest. In other states with a strict scrutiny standard, laws banning felons from possessing firearms and requiring permits have all been upheld as constitutional.

The language passed the House and Senate in 2018, 2019, and 2021 with wide support. It is now up to Iowans to decide if firearms rights belong in the Iowa Constitution. If this language is added it will help ensure that no matter what happens in Washington, D.C., the right of law-abiding Iowans to keep and bear arms will be protected.

Supporters call this the Freedom Amendment. But powerful out-of-state interests, led by billionaire Michael Bloomberg, are financing a campaign of fear and misrepresentation against the measure. They falsely claim that it might allow felons and those adjudicated as mentally ill to possess guns. But that is against federal law as well as state law and is long-standing tradition that will not change. What they are really afraid of is that this amendment will make it difficult or impossible for them to bring New York and California style rigid gun control laws to Iowa – laws such as requiring an application, test, and license (renewable every five years) to purchase or possess any gun, registration of every gun, and a criminal background check required every time you buy a box of ammunition. Can you imagine paying for and waiting for a background check every time you want to pick up a box of shells for your pheasant hunt?

Reject the fear-mongering and vote YES to preserve your rights. FLIP your ballot over and vote YES on State Ballot Measure 1. Vote YES for the Freedom Amendment to Iowa’s Constitution. Do it for your grandchildren – and theirs!


Author: John Wills


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