Iowans to vote on gun amendment

Published: Oct. 11, 2022 at 10:51 PM CDT
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CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (KCRG) - On Tuesday, Linn County Attorney Nick Maybanks and Linn County Sheriff Brian Gardner expressed their concerns about “Measure #1″ on the election ballot at an Iowa For Responsible Gun Laws meeting.

“Possession of firearms as a felon or domestic abuse offender here in Linn County for the fiscal year 2019, our office charged 15 of those crimes,” said Maybanks. “Were projected to charge 50 to this next fiscal year.”

“Our office and law enforcement across the state could face litigation,” said Gardner.

The referendum “provides that the right of the people of Iowa to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed, and any restrictions of this right shall be subject to strict scrutiny.

“What this proposed amendment to the constitution would do is put in jeopardy common sense gun laws,” said Connie Ryan, the Executive Director of Interfaith Alliance of Iowa. “That’s because of the amendment including strict scrutiny, which is the highest level of judicial review in the courts.”

Ryan said the ‘strict scrutiny’ clause prohibits current and new gun legislation. Opponents claimed it goes beyond the 2nd Amendment in the US Constitution and would make any law restricting guns, like raising the age to buy AR-15s, very difficult to enact.

“You have to take it in one package, so the proposed amendment would do damage to the commonsense gun laws that we have on the books and any future laws the legislature would want to pass,” she said.

That’s not what Richard Rogers, a Lobbyist with the Iowa Firearms Coalition said this amendment means.

“We’ve been promoting this for a dozen years now,” said Rogers.

Rogers said this amendment was to protect Iowan’s rights to own and operate firearms.

“We’re not adding the second amendment, we’re seeking to do the same thing at the state level,” said Rogers. “This protects the fundamental right of individuals to keep and bear arms from government overreach.”

While opponents like Ryan, Maybanks, and Gardner said strict scrutiny would potentially hurt Iowans, supporters like the Iowa Firearm Coalition said it’s needed to ensure gun rights.

“Strict scrutiny is the appropriate standard for the review of challenges to regulations that may affect fundamental rights,” said Rogers.