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Letters to the Editor

Some articles have mistakenly stated about a proposed constitutional amendment that “Iowa is one of six states without similar language in its Constitution.” This is untrue. The proposed amendment is not the same - ours wants “strict scrutiny.” The "strict scrutiny" language will make it much easier to bring and win legal challenges to Iowa’s gun laws.

It requires "strict scrutiny" be applied to any firearms laws, therefore much more likely a court could strike down important state laws that protect public safety, such as Iowa's background check, concealed-carry and permit-to-purchase laws.

This could mean frivolous litigation over regulations such as restrictions on the possession of firearms by domestic abusers or laws regulating gun sales to minors. This amendment doesn’t even define “arms” and it could make it impossible to regulate extremely dangerous weapons such as bump stocks, already banned under federal law.

Only three U.S. states have adopted the extreme policy of mandating in their constitutions that courts apply "strict scrutiny" to firearm regulations: Alabama, Louisiana and Missouri. All three of those states passed their laws recently and have cases tied up in courts costing them millions while felons go unpunished.

These "strict scrutiny" provisions have absolutely no historical basis in state constitutions. Iowa should reject the proposal to join the tiny minority of states that have dangerously decided to mandate that courts employ a legal standard that will constrain the state's ability to pass and defend reasonable gun safety. - Jackie Stellish, Sioux City

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