For more than 175 years, Iowans have been among the relative handful of citizens without a specific right to keep and bear arms provision in their state constitution, but that could change Nov. 8 when Hawkeye State voters will cast their ballots on the proposed amendment to enshrine the right.
According to KCCI News, it’s a goal the Iowa Firearms Coalition (IFC) has been pursuing for more than ten years. IFC Chairman John McLaughlin told the news agency, “The right to keep and bear arms is a fundamental right and we want to codify that in the Iowa constitution. So if for some unknown chance [that] the U.S. Constitution would be changed through a makeup in the Supreme Court or something that we really can’t foresee, that [gun rights] protection will continue for the state of Iowa.”
Grassroots Second Amendment activists believe the right to keep and bear arms is the backbone of the federal constitution.
The proposed Iowa amendment is a step ahead of the Second Amendment. It 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.”
Considering the recent Supreme Court ruling in New York State Rifle & Pistol Association v. Bruen, this just might be the nearest thing to perfect of any state RKBA provision.
However, there are opponents in the gun prohibition movement. KCCI referred to Progress Iowa and Iowans for Responsible Gun Laws. The latter has been calling the proposed amendment “reckless.” The coalition includes nearly 30 liberal groups including religious organizations, Planned Parenthood groups and at least two local chapters of Moms Demand Action.
Another group, Iowans for Gun Safety, is also campaigning against the amendment.
Opponents argue the proposed amendment would jeopardize what they consider “common sense gun laws,” according to KCRG News. Supporters insist the amendment would simply protect the rights of law-abiding Iowa gun owners from government overreach.
They will all have an opportunity to vote on the measure Nov. 8.