116 3rd St SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
The proposed amendment to the Iowa Constitution, labeled “The Right to Keep and Bear Arms,” is deceptively packaged. The proposal sounds identical to the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, a similarity proponents of the measure are counting on. The catch lies in the third sentence that states: “Any and all restrictions of this right shall be subject to strict scrutiny.” This is not a condition included in the U.S. Constitution. Additionally, the U.S. Supreme Court has refused to apply a “strict scrutiny” standard to gun laws, opting for “reasonable” restrictions.
Constitutional experts tell us that this hidden detail, using the legal term, “strict scrutiny,” may negate any current restrictions and will tie the hands of future lawmakers to pass restrictions on the ownership and carrying of guns, leaving Iowans vulnerable to a Wild West with high-capacity magazines. The NRA is promoting the “strict scrutiny” language to create an “iron wall around” gun rights, leaving no room for common sense measures that would keep Iowans safe.
Supporters of the proposal claim that 44 other states have a similar amendment in their constitutions. This is dishonest. Only three states include “strict scrutiny” in their constitutions: Alabama, Missouri and Louisiana.
If Iowans desire further gun rights protection, the legislature should propose an amendment that does not include the “strict scrutiny” requirement. For now, it is imperative that Iowans vote no on the proposed amendment.