Iowa’s Vote to Add Right to Bear Arms Amendment Fast Approaching
Aug 25, 2022
If you’re an Iowa resident and value your right to bear arms, there has never been a more important time to vote than this November 8th. The Iowa Right to Keep and Bear Arms Amendment is on the ballot for 2022 after passing both chambers of the legislature in January 2021.
About the Iowa Right to Bear Arms Amendment
For a legislatively referred constitutional amendment to be brought before voters, it has to pass a simple majority vote in the Iowa State Senate and Iowa House of Representatives in two legislative sessions with an election in between. Every two years, every member of the state house is up for election, as well as half of the state senate.
This amendment was approved in the 2019-2021 legislative sessions and then again in the 2021-2022 sessions, along party lines, with all Republicans voting in favor and all Democrats opposed.
Amendment sponsors initially intended to pass the bill during the 2017-2018 and 2019-2020 sessions to seat the question on the 2020 ballot, but a bureaucratic error resulted in the amendment process needing to start over again.
In short, the bill needed to be passed in the 2019-2020 and 2021-2022 legislative sessions to appear on the 2022 ballot.
Why is This State Constitution Change Important?
Amendment sponsor Rep. Steven Holt said, "The right to someone's own life and the pursuit of their own happiness, their own destiny — life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness — cannot be separated from the right to defend their life, hence the fundamental right to keep and bear arms in our Second Amendment." Regarding the strict scrutiny provision, Holt said, "If current or future laws are narrowly tailored to advance a compelling government interest regarding this fundamental individual right, they will be safe. If they do not fit that category, they will not be safe and they should not be on the books."
Iowa is one of only six states without a constitutional right to bear arms, along with California, Iowa, Maryland, Minnesota, New Jersey, and New York. As federal rights become more challenged, it's crucial to set firm standards regarding inherent human rights in every state.
State Constitution VS Federal Constitution
There seems to have been a failure within the education system as many Americans seem to have forgotten that our beautiful country was founded first at a state level and then joined together to create a federal government. The U.S constitution guided the structuring of the federal government, giving the federal government limited power. Our Bill of Rights does not GIVE us rights; it protects rights granted to us by our creator and protects us from abuse by the government.
At the end of the day, individual states have authority. So, it’s imperative we make changes at a local level first that will, in time, ripple at a federal level.
Even if you've never voted, now is the time to go out and do so if you care about your personal liberties and freedoms. We need to send a thunderous message that our freedoms are simply not up for debate, whether it's the right to bear arms or any others.