Freedom Watch

Freedom Watch

Gun Rights

Rep. Steve Holt Submitted The battle for fundamental rights Floor debate in the last few weeks on the fundamental rights of gun ownership and free speech have exposed profound philosophical differences between Republicans and Democrats in the Iowa House and will be explored in this week’s newsletter. Second Amendment Last week, the House voted on Senate Joint Resolution 18. This resolution would restrict the government from infringing on the fundamental right to keep and bear arms. SJR18 passed along party lines, 53-46. During the debate, Democrats claimed to support the rights of legal gun owners while at the same time supporting bills to strip away even the most basic firearms rights. For years, House Republicans have worked to strengthen rights for law-abiding Iowans. Iowa is one of only six states without Second Amendment protections in the state constitution, and Republicans want to change that. The language approved by the House and Senate 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.” This language would require a court reviewing Iowa’s firearms laws to use the judicial standard of strict scrutiny. This is the highest standard of judicial review and requires the government to prove that laws impacting the right to keep and bear arms must advance a “compelling governmental interest” and be narrowly […]

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