Iowa voters to determine whether gun rights should be in state constitution

Published: Oct. 13, 2022 at 5:42 PM CDT
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SIOUX CITY (KTIV) - This November, Iowa voters will have the chance to cast their ballot for a measure that would enshrine the right to bear arms in the Iowa Constitution.

Iowa is one of six states that currently doesn’t provide for gun rights in the state constitution. The Iowa Firearms Coalition, the IFC, tells me none of state’s current laws would be amended, but that hasn’t stopped opponents from sounding the alarm.

The IFC says the measure is meant to preserve the rights Iowans currently have and constrain the state government from passing new gun laws that don’t meet a significant legal standard.

But, Linn County Attorney Nick Maybanks told our sister station KCRG that he’s against the measure because law enforcement could face litigation for enforcing gun laws.

Dave Funk, a supporter of the public measure, says anyone who can’t possess a gun right now still wouldn’t be able to, even if the amendment passes.

“And then the voters of Iowa, the citizens of Iowa, remember their constitutional amendments are constraints on the government. That’s what they can and can’t do up there in the legislature and, you know... state agencies,” said Funk.

A “yes” vote is in support of the amendment, making gun rights part of the Iowa constitution and requiring a high level of judicial scrutiny for new laws. A “no” vote means the measure wouldn’t become law. Iowa, New York, New Jersey, California, Maryland and Minnesota don’t have state level gun rights in their respective constitutions.

Voters should make sure to flip their ballots over, this public measure is on the back.