Voters approve constitutional amendment on gun rights

Guns have changed a lot since the Founding Fathers enshrined the Second Amendment. Iowa's new Constitutional Amendment doubles down on that 1700's text with controversial 2000's language. Shown here is an assortment of guns ranging from a Revolutionary War era flintlock, to modern machine guns, and a bazooka. (Image via Wikimedia Commons, CC BY-SA 4.0)
Eleanor Hildebrandt
Iowa Capital Dispatch

The constitutional amendment restricting infringement on gun ownership and use on Iowa voters’ ballots passed on Tuesday.

The ballot question received 65.1% “yes” votes and 34.9% “no,” with 98% precincts reporting, according to unofficial results. The Associated Press projected just before 11 p.m. Tuesday that the amendment had been approved.

Constitutional amendments need a simple majority vote from Iowans to become a part of the Iowa Constitution.

The last time the state document was amended was in 1998 to amend Section 1 of Article 1 regarding inalienable rights and Section 11 regarding felony offenses.

The language of the constitutional amendment reads: “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.”

Iowa City’s Jessica Jugovich, 21, supported the amendment on Tuesday. It was her first time voting in Johnson County. “I voted for [the amendment], just to protect ourselves,” she said.

Voter Sharon Fife, 41, of Des Moines, said her “no” on the constitutional amendment was a difficult choice.

“I believe in the 2nd Amendment and I want people to have guns if they want them,” she said. “I voted no because I feel like the wording was intended to be confusing, and to stop us from having important conversations later down the road.”

Iowa Capital Dispatch is part of States Newsroom, a network of news bureaus supported by grants and a coalition of donors as a 501c(3) public charity. Iowa Capital Dispatch maintains editorial independence. Contact Editor Kathie Obradovich for questions: Follow Iowa Capital Dispatch on Facebook and Twitter.


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