Human rights

Protect Gun Rights in Iowa, Pass the Freedom Amendment

Vote ‘yes’ for the freedom amendment on November 8.

Due to the lack of proper civic education across America, too few citizens can answer this simple question, “Which came first – the federal government and the United States Constitution, or the sovereign states?”

The answer is that sovereign states first existed and then came together to create a federal government. The US Constitution designed the structure of the federal government and granted it specific and limited powers. The first 10 amendments to our Constitution, the Bill of Rights, did not create human or civil rights; on the contrary, they have ensured that these rights granted to all Americans by our creator are protected from abuse by the federal government.

The Iowa Constitution, likewise, establishes the structure and powers of the Iowa government and includes its own bill of rights. But Iowa is one of six states that does not recognize our precious Second Amendment rights in their constitutions. It may seem hard to believe, but “Second Amendment friendly” Iowa shares this dubious distinction with California, Maryland, Minnesota, New Jersey and New York.

OPPOSITE VIEW: We can do something about gun violence in Iowa. Don’t tie our hands.

AFTER:Democrats have bad solutions to gun violence. Republicans don’t. Let’s build common ground.

Amending Iowa’s constitution is no easy task. The course is long and there are many obstacles and pitfalls along the way. But the good news is that after more than a decade of effort, what the Iowa Firearms Coalition volunteers call “the freedom amendment” has now passed two consecutive Iowa general meetings and the question will be on the ballot for Iowa voters to decide in November. .

The proposed liberty amendment reads as follows:

“The people’s right to own and bear arms will not be infringed. The sovereign state of Iowa affirms and recognizes this right as a fundamental individual right. Any restriction of this right must be carefully scrutinized.

Many were confused by the inclusion of the term “strict review”. The choice of this phrase was entirely intentional, as rigorous scrutiny is the highest standard of judicial review, or test, used by courts when the constitutionality of laws, regulations or other government policies is challenged. This standard is correctly applied in cases involving fundamental rights, but courts have generally avoided using it when considering possible violations of the right to own and bear arms. When using the standard of scrutiny, the court must presume that a government policy is unconstitutional unless the government can prove that the policy is necessary to achieve a compelling state interest and that the policy is both narrowly designed to achieve this goal and employs the least restrictive means possible to do so. The Freedom Amendment’s mandate that the courts exercise strict control provides strong protection for our right to own and bear arms.

When Iowa adds the Liberty Amendment to our Constitution’s Bill of Rights on Nov. 8, it will essentially serve as a backup to the Second Amendment, available if federal courts, Congress, or the executive branch ignore or further abuse the protections. of this amendment. . Further, its requirement that potential violations of our right to own and bear arms be reviewed by Iowa courts under the strict review doctrine should be a powerful deterrent to authorities. of Iowa attempted to violate this right.

After:Iowa needs a constitutional amendment to protect gun rights

The people of Iowa know what it takes to make our state safe from violent criminals and the mentally insane. Iowa has already hardened its schools; enforcing current criminal laws and providing effective mental health services are other measures that have proven effective wherever they have been tried. Penalizing and restraining good citizens who have never committed a violent crime, and who never will, will not deter those who have evil in their hearts.

The people of Iowa know that these dangerous extremists intent on leaving them defenseless by denying our natural right to self-defense offer a recipe for disaster.

We never know when bad will come, but we can prepare for that moment through training and having the tools to protect ourselves, our families and our communities.

I ask again; Vote ‘yes’ for the freedom amendment on November 8.

dave funk

Dave Funk is the president of the Iowa Firearms Coalition.