Yesterday, on Election Day, Iowa voters had the choice to adopt or reject a ballot measure that would add the Right to Keep and Bear Arms language into the Iowa State Constitution. In Iowa, getting the language onto the ballot with the goal of amending the Constitution requires the measure to pass two consecutive legislative sessions before going to the voters to decide. This is actually the second time the Right to Keep and Bear Arms language has passed two legislative sessions, however, in 2019, a legal deadline was missed by the Secretary of State and the people’s voice had to wait for the process to start all over again. Two years after that failed attempt to add the Right to Keep and Bear Arms to Iowa’s Constitution, 65 percent of Iowa voters chose to protect and enshrine their Right to Keep and Bear Arms in their Constitution.
The following language was adopted into the Iowa State Constitution:
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 above language appears to go a bit further than the Second Amendment of the United State’s Bill of Rights to relieve any confusion between the individual right, and the much disputed “militia” and that the individual’s right to keep and bear arms is “fundamental.” The above wording remains clear and concise while keeping the amount of language minimal. The language also includes the term “strict scrutiny,” which implies to the court and legislature that any current or future laws restricting the individual’s right to keep and bear arms must be narrowly tailored to a specific aspect.
What do you think about the new addition to Iowa’s Constitution, and how does it compare to your own state’s protections on the Right to Keep and Bear Arms?