Lawmakers Discuss Gun Rights in State Constitution

Representatives listen to closing remarks in the Iowa House during the final day of the Iowa legislative session, Tuesday, March 30, 2010, at the Statehouse in Des Moines, Iowa. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)

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By Katie Stinson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Iowa House Republicans are continuing their effort to amend the state constitution to add the right to bear arms.

Lawmakers debated the proposal in a House subcommittee Thursday. They did not vote to move the measure forward, instead pledging to have more discussions. The proposal from House Republicans would add language to the Iowa Constitution stating that the right to "acquire, keep, possess, transport, carry, transfer, and use arms to defend life and liberty" cannot be denied.

Changing the state constitution is a multi-step process, which would require approval by the current General Assembly and then by the one elected in 2014. After that it would go to Iowa voters.

A similar bill was passed in the GOP-majority Iowa House in 2012 but did not advance in the Democratic-controlled Senate.

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