Lawmakers again advance gun rights amendment

Gun Rights

DES MOINES — For the third time, the Legislature has approved a resolution that would give voters the opportunity to adopt an amendment to the Iowa Constitution providing Iowans with the right to keep and bear arms. Senate Joint Resolution 18 was approved Wednesday 33-16 in the Senate and 53-46 in the House, putting it on course to eventually be submitted to voters. Before then, the resolution must be approved by the next General Assembly, which convenes in 2021, and then would be submitted to voters as early as 2022. Legislators took up the issue again because the Iowa Secretary of State’s Office failed to meet a notification requirement, forcing the amendment process to start over. If adopted by voters, the state constitution would be amended by adding: “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.” The amendment would protect that freedom against potential future laws or executive orders from the federal government, said Sen. Brad Zaun, R-Urbandale. U.S. Constitution Second Amendment rights “have been eroded through many years,” he added. However, Democrats didn’t think it was that simple. They argued the amendment would not only make passage of future gun regulations difficult, but also could make current regulations vulnerable. Democrats warned of the potential for legal challenges to current state regulations like prohibiting […]

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