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AP Photo/Wilson Ring The state of Iowa is one of those places you kind of expect to be pro-gun. After all, it’s a pretty rural state and rural states tend to support the Second Amendment.
And, in many ways, it is pro-gun. It really is.
However, a new constitutional amendment in the state hopes to step that up a notch or two. Yet what will change following the vote on it ? Iowa voters in November will be asked to add language to the Iowa Constitution that states it is a “fundamental individual right” to keep and bear arms, and that any restraint on that right is invalid unless it meets the demands of “strict scrutiny.” A new coalition of gun safety advocates said the pro-gun amendment would prohibit safety measures that Iowans support, such as firearm safety training, universal background checks and a requirement for a license to carry a gun in public. Republicans have argued for the measure for years, saying Iowa is one of only six states without protections in its constitution for the right to keep and bear arms. Democrats and gun-safety advocates say Republicans are misleading Iowans when they say the amendment is equivalent to the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. The “strict scrutiny” language, they say, could lead to courts overturning gun restrictions already on the books. “Inserting gun rights with strict scrutiny into the (Iowa) Constitution would tip the balance of power, elevating access to guns above public health and safety,” said Connie Ryan, executive director of Des Moines-based Interfaith Alliance of Iowa and a member of the Iowans for Responsible Gun Laws coalition. “This is unacceptable and, quite frankly, it is dangerous.” Except owning guns is a constitutionally protected right, while “public health and safety” is something that the government may wish […]
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