While the United States Constitution recognizes the right to keep and bear arms on a federal level in the Second Amendment, the same cannot be said for all 50 of the state’s Constitutions. Iowa, and only five others, are among the states not who don’t have a “Second Amendment” of their own. A new proposed state constitutional amendment has been drafted in Iowa, that could put it in writing that the state’s citizens have the right to keep and bear arms.
“The constitutional level, the federal level, the second amendment talks about the right to keep and bear arms. What the language in this proposed amendment does is it expands upon that,” Bennett Smith, a History and Political Science Instructor, said.
The proposal concentrates on acquiring, keeping, possessing, transporting, carrying, transferring, and using firearms along with licensing, registering and taxing.
“The debate might be in terms of how some of the language is used and whether it eliminates the possibility of the state, namely the legislature, to impose a permit requirement or other kinds of training and education requirements,” Smith added.
Opponents are apprehensive about the verbiage of the bill, especially when it comes to arms dealers.
“There are a lot of ambiguities in there, it leaves us with enough rope to hang ourselves again. Last time we did this was with our carry law, you know ‘shall issue’ that worked out just fine so I think Iowa legislators have the ability to make this work just fine again but it’s going to take some doing to get it there I think,” said Kemlin Hart, owner of Hart Brothers.
The proposal must be passed by two general assemblies, one in 2017 and the next in 2018 before it came become law. It must also be passed by a majority of voters in the state of Iowa.