Iowa Considers Adding Right to Bear Arms to State Constitution

County sheriffs in Iowa announced on March 1 that they oppose putting the Second Amendment right to bear arms in the Iowa Constitution.

A proposed state constitutional amendment that passed the Iowa House earlier last week would allegedly do away with the state's permitting and regulation of weapons, according to the Iowa State Sheriffs' and Deputies' Association, which represents law enforcement in Iowa's 99 counties.

"We're not sure why it's necessary to move this next step so soon because we're not sure that's where Iowans want to be," said association spokesperson Susan Cameron. "It goes far beyond the U.S. Constitution and what other states have done."

Proponents say a clause recognizing the right to own and bear arms in Iowa is long-overdue. Iowa is one of only six states that doesn't enumerate a right to keep and bear arms clause in its state constitution.

The Iowa House voted 61-37 to include an amendment to the state constitution that says Iowans have a fundamental right to "acquire, keep, possess, transport, carry, transfer and use arms to defend life and liberty and for all other legitimate purposes" that cannot be infringed upon or denied.

Any reiteration of a fundamental right is welcome, but some scholars question the need to sanction the U.S. Constitution and Bill of Rights in a state constitution.

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