Saturday, January 14, 2017

Constitutional Provision for Right to Arms Likely for Iowa

Iowa is one of only six states that does not have some sort of protection of the right to keep and bear arms in the state Constitution. The other five states are California, New York, New Jersey, Maryland, and Minnesota. One of the reasons for this lack is the difficult process that a state constitutional amendment has to undergo to be passed in Iowa.  First, the amendment must be passed by the General Assembly. Then an election must occur. Then the amendment must be passed a second time. Finally, the amendment is to be presented to the people, who can vote it up or down in the next election.

The process is nearly identical to the one used in Wisconsin. Wisconsin residents and legislators went through the process in the 1990's resulting in the passage of Wisconsin's strong State Constitutional protection in 1998 with 74% of the vote.

Iowa's senate is starting the process with JR2. Update. Here is the wording of the proposed amendment.
Right to acquire, keep, possess, transport, carry, transfer,  and use arms. 
SEC. 1A. The right of an individual to acquire, keep, possess, transport, carry, transfer, and use arms to defend life and liberty and for all other legitimate purposes is fundamental and shall not be infringed upon or denied. Mandatory licensing, registration, or special taxation as a condition of the exercise of this right is prohibited, and any other restriction shall be subject to strict scrutiny.

The difficult part in passing these constitutional protections is to get them past the legislative leadership. Republicans hold majorities in both houses of the Iowa legislature for the first time in 20 years.

Now that the Republicans hold the leadership positions, they are starting to process for the constitutional protection of the right to arms. From
Among those is a proposed amendment to the state constitution protecting Iowans' right to "acquire, keep, possess, transport, carry, transfer and use" firearms to "defend life and liberty and for all other legitimate purposes." It also would prohibit mandatory licensing, registration or special taxation of those actions.

Senate Judiciary Chairman Brad Zaun, R-Urbandale, said the bill — co-sponsored by each of the Senate's 29 Republicans — is intended to be a statement about the caucus' priorities.

"I’m getting a lot of emails from a lot of people that say, 'Hey, you Republicans are in control, and we expect big things from you,'" he said.

Because the resolution would amend the state constitution, it would have to be approved by the current General Assembly and again after new members are voted into office in 2018. Then the language would be put on the next general election ballot for voter approval in 2020.
Republicans will need to hold on to power through the next election cycle, and then present the amendment to the people two years later.

JR2 mentions "Arms" not "Firearms", to correct the Des Moines Register.  The actual amendment has not yet been finalized.

The Iowa State Seal says "OUR LIBERTIES WE PRIZE AND OUR RIGHTS WE WILL MAINTAIN". Time for Iowans to live up to their slogan.

©2017 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice is included.

Link to Gun Watch

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

What needs to be understood is that when the state constitutions do not address an issue the federal constitution rules the issue. there is no need for a constitutional amendment just recognize the federal constitution's tenth amendment and demand the federal government enforce it. I am so sick of legislators that can not comprehend the federal constitutional authority. states can not be admitted to the union without understanding the federal constitution is superior to state constitutions. States can not rewrite the bill of rights. The second amendment is superior to any state laws or constitutional amendments. we really need to fix the American educational system and start teaching what the constitution says.

The United States Supreme Court ruled on this very issue in Gibbons v. Ogden in 1824. "When a state law conflicts with the federal law the federal law is supreme"

These incompetent legislators waste time, money and effort in not knowing what they are required to do and what they are forbidden to do by settled case law and the ignorance of the general public is no help.

The purpose of the tenth amendment is to settle this issue for the ignorant. It separates the power of federal government and state government. states rights are inferior to federal rights. If neither form of constitution covers the issue then it is an un enumerated individual right left to the people. the government , state or federal needs the permission of the people to change or add authority to the constitutions that is why the amendment process was created. neither from of government has the authority to increase its power without the approval of the people affected by National citizenship or state residency.

I think some people need to be knocked down an beaten with a civics book or a copy of the constitution until they smarten up.