Iowans Vote in Favor of Freedom

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posted on November 10, 2022
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Evan Guest courtesy Flickr

Not all good news from elections comes in the form of a particular candidate winning or losing. Sometimes a state’s citizens simply vote to protect their freedoms. In Iowa, that’s exactly what happened on election day.

Iowans voted to add the right “to keep and bear arms” to the state’s constitution by nearly a two-to-one margin. Iowa is now the 45th state to include such language.

“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,” reads the new language.

“Iowans showed up to the polls and sent a clear message to the legislature that their right to keep and bear arms is a fundamental individual right that shall not be infringed,” reported the NRA Institute for Legislative Action (ILA). “The language of Public Measure 1 was passed by two consecutive legislatures and put on the ballot for the people to decide.”

The Hawkeye State also becomes just the fourth state with “strict scrutiny” language to protect these rights in its state constitution. Strict scrutiny is the “highest level of legal protection for a constitutional right,” and is a “level of protection [that] is reserved for rights that are deemed ‘fundamental,’” according to NRA-ILA.

“The right to keep and bear arms is a fundamental and God-given right and it’s passed time that Iowans have the same state-level civil rights protections as Americans living in the rest of the country,” Cedar County Sheriff Warren Wethington said of the measure to local media. Sheriffs from multiple other counties also endorsed the amendment, which they called the “Freedom Amendment.”

Prior to Public Measure 1’s passage, Iowa was one of six states without the right to keep and bear arms enshrined in its constitution. Only California, Maryland, Minnesota, New Jersey and New York currently do not have specific guarantees for residents to keep and bear arms in their respective state constitutions.

Let’s hope that citizens in the remaining states follow Iowa’s lead and recognize that the right to keep and bear arms is a fundamental one that should also be protected at the state level.

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