Breaking News
More () »

Right to bear arms: Amendment to Iowa's constitution on the 2022 ballot

The amendment contains a controversial "strict scrutiny" clause, which makes it harder to pass gun control measures, that only three other states have.

IOWA, USA — Iowa voters will decide if the right to keep and bear arms should be enshrined in the state's constitution.

The proposed amendment to Article I would add the following section:

Right to keep and bear arms. Sec. 1A. 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."

Lawmakers have worked on the proposal since 2019, where it passed the Iowa House and Senate, along with surviving two consecutive legislative sessions.

Supporters said it's an essential move to protect the public.

"What we're doing is, we're protecting our prosperity," Iowa Farms Coalition President Dave Funk said. "Our kids and our grandkids have rights to defend themselves in their community and to be safe in their homes.

Watch the full interview from 'This Week' with Funk on News 8's YouTube channel

Critics said it could remove too many restrictions for ownership and make it incredibly difficult for further gun control to be passed.

"We would be fine if the language had been just a Second Amendment language," Interfaith Alliance of Iowa Executive Director Connie Ryan said. "But it goes far above that and really elevates the ability to have a gun and gun rights far above public safety."

The "strict scrutiny" line in the proposed amendment is causing disagreement.

Supporters said the standard is important to ensure the government upholds essential rights.

"Which of your fundamental rights - your right to be secure in your homes, your right to privacy, your right to peaceably assemble to worship the way you want - which of those rights do you not want subjected to strict scrutiny?" Funk said.

Critics are worried that language would open up dangerous legal challenges.

"If this amendment were to pass, then people would be able to challenge the laws that are on the books," Ryan said. "And if those laws are struck down, that will put Iowans in harm's way because those laws would no longer be in place that are focused on keeping people keeping communities keeping children safe."

Watch the full interview from 'This Week' from Moms Demand Action

Alabama, Louisiana and Missouri all have 'strict scrutiny' clauses in their right to bear arms sections. Most states do not have this clause, including Illinois.

If the proposal passes, it will be the 49th amendment to the Iowa Constitution.

Download the WQAD News 8 App 
Subscribe to our newsletter 
Subscribe to our YouTube channel 

More From News 8

'We'll keep standing up against gun violence' | Davenport Peace group holds rally to call on end to shootings

Increased security, bag checks introduced at major Moline High School events

Local, federal leaders join new efforts to curb crime in Davenport

Before You Leave, Check This Out