Iowans vote ‘yes’ for gun amendment in Iowa Constitution

After eight years, Iowans finally got the chance to vote on a constitutional amendment that would solidify the 2nd Amendment in Iowa.


Lauren White, Politics Reporter

Iowans voted to amend the state constitution to add a right to bear arms when they were given the opportunity on Tuesday night. 

The amendment changes the way the right to bear arms is interpreted in the courts by adding a condition of strict scrutiny. The strict scrutiny provision means that no law can be made that will restrict the sale or ownership of firearms unless absolutely necessary. 

According to unofficial results, 65 percent of Iowans voted in favor of the new amendment. A simple majority of voters was needed to pass the amendment.

Rep. Steve Holt, R-Denison, proposed the amendment eight years ago. In a previous interview with The Daily Iowan, he said the amendment intends to protect the right to bear and keep arms. 

Critics of the amendment say the new provisions will increase gun violence by blocking any restrictions that may come up, previously reported by The Daily Iowan

After going through both chambers twice and letting Iowans decide, the amendment will go into effect immediately and will cause the court to apply strict scrutiny to any proposed firearm legislation. 

Iowa GOP Chairman Jeff Kaufmann said he does not expect the amendment to immediately affect our gun laws in the state. 

“I think it cements the 2nd Amendment in our constitution,” Kaufmann said. 

Amber Crow, a UI third-year College of Law student, said the amendment was worded in a way that may confuse Iowans into misinterpreting the provision. She said the wording on the ballot did not give enough information or perspective. 

“I see that there’s a lot of folks involved in politics that just prey on misinformation and a lack of education among voters and it’s really disheartening because a constitutional amendment is such a strong thing to do,” Crow said.

Natalie Dunlap contributed to this report.