Johnson County Board of Supervisors pass resolution opposing loosening gun restrictions

The unanimous vote at Thursday’s formal meeting provides the board’s stance on the measure and encourages voters to vote no.


Matt Sindt

The Board of Supervisors listen to speakers at the Johnson County Administration Building on Wednesday, Oct. 19, 2022.

Alejandro Rojas, News Reporter

The Johnson County Board of Supervisors voted Thursday to publicly oppose a proposed amendment that loosen gun restrictions. The vote, coming during the board’s weekly formal meeting, was a resolution and was unanimously agreed upon by the supervisors.

The amendment, Iowa Amendment 1, is on the ballot for the November general election and aims to change the likelihood of future gun laws passing by forcing them to pass the strict scrutiny test.

The measure states, “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.”

The resolution from the board is aimed solely at providing the supervisors response as a group on the measure, as well as encouraging voters in Johnson County to vote no on it.

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Contained within the resolution are reasons the board is against the measure, including that the rate of gun deaths in Iowa increased by 56 percent between 2011 and 2020, compared to a 33 percent increase nationwide.

If passed, the amendment will make it even harder for the police and other law enforcement officers to enforce the law, according to the resolution.

Johnson County Attorney Janet Lyness spoke during the formal meeting about the importance of the board’s resolution.

“Not only is the wrong thing [the amendment], it’s the wrong time to do something like this when we’ve just had another gun death occur this week in Iowa City. We’ve had two robberies with guns this week, we also had two shootings in rural areas this week,” Lyness said. “This is a very dangerous amendment to the Iowa constitution. This is unneeded and will make public safety much harder to occur.”