Skip to Content

UPDATE: Iowa House passes gun rights constitutional amendment, sending issue to voters

MGN_1280x720_61018P00-HTNMV

UPDATE: The Iowa House has passed Senate Joint Resolution 7, a bill that would add an amendment to the Iowa Constitution giving Iowans the right to keep and bear arms under Iowa law, by a tally of 58-41.

Since the proposed amendment passed the 88th General Assembly with the same language in 2019-2020, the measure will now go before Iowa voters in the 2022 general election


ORIGINAL STORY: DES MOINES, Iowa (KWWL) -- Iowa Senators voted 29-18 to add an amendment to the Iowa Constitution giving Iowans the right to keep and bear arms under Iowa law.

Senate Joint Resolution 7 would add this exact wording to Article 1 of the state's constitution: "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."

Democrats believe that wording goes too far in protecting Iowans' gun rights. Republicans say the issue should be decided on by Iowa voters. If the Iowa House passes the measure with the same language, Republicans will get their wish and the issue will go before voters in the 2022 general election.

Any amendments to Iowa's Constitution must pass two separate legislatures with the exact same language. Unlike the anti-abortion constitutional amendment that passed out of the House last night, the gun rights amendment already passed through the previous legislature in 2019-2020.

Iowa is one of six states without gun rights specifically written in its constitution. The amendment has drawn scrutiny for the phrase, "any and all restrictions of this right shall be subject to strict scrutiny." That wording would make it difficult for future state lawmakers to pass any future gun control measures and could subject existing measures to legal challenges.

Some opponents to that wording have suggested using the same language as is in the U.S. Constitution's Second Amendment, which says, "the right of the people to keep and bear Arms shall not be infringed," instead of adopting the "strict scrutiny" wording.

The bill was sent to the House floor for debate Thursday afternoon.

Trevor Oates

Executive Producer

Skip to content