Iowa state representatives are debating House Joint Resolution 13, which would add the right to keep and bear arms to the state constitution. Should the resolution’s wording be adopted as is, it would require “strict scrutiny” as the judicial standard for any restrictions on the firearms freedom of Iowans.
Louisiana, Missouri and Alabama are the three states that already apply the strict scrutiny standard for gun restrictions. The strict scrutiny standard means that when the matter goes before a court on a constitutional challenge, the state is held to the highest standards of justification for any limiting actions. Even if the state comes up with a compelling reason for a restrictive law, it has to structure the legislation as narrowly as possible.
The anti-gunners, of course, will make their easily refutable stand saying that a state constitutional amendment means anybody and everybody will be able to get guns, or to quote a Barack Obama claim, that it will be easier to get a gun than to buy a book. But the fact is, the strict scrutiny standard still allows for the public safety measures, such as a law that says violent felons can’t buy or possess firearms.