Gun control extraordinaire Michael Bloomberg made headlines recently after announcing he may run for President of the United States. Bloomberg is under the impression that if Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders end up as the party nominees for the Republicans and Democrats he could run as a ‘moderate’ independent candidate and win the White House.
Hillary Clinton has been falling over herself trying to cram gun control down American’s throats. Not to be outdone Bernie Sanders has taken his already questionable record on gun control and doubled down on how he’d infringe on the rights of law-abiding gun owners and the Second Amendment. As bad as that sounds imagine what life would be like under a Michael Bloomberg presidency, the 1% godfather of gun control who’s bankrolling our nation’s gun control movement. Not a pretty picture. Now imagine if any one of these three were elected president and got to select the next Supreme Court justices. Things could turn south for gun owners faster than classified documents get deleted from Hillary’s unsecured email servers.
BIG problems for Iowans
Bloomberg’s proposed presidential run exposes a very real problem we have here in Iowa: our state constitution has no mention, of any kind, of the people’s right to keep and bear arms. The state constitution protects pretty much every other right of the people of Iowa (free speech, religion, speedy trial, etc..) EXCEPT the right to keep and bear arms. There’s literally no mention of it.
Iowa is one of just six states in the country that does not have the equivalent of the Second Amendment in its state constitution. What does that mean? More importantly, why is this something we should care about? Well… imagine there’s a President Michael Bloomberg… or a President Hillary Clinton… then imagine what kind of lengths they’d go to to erode the Second Amendment at the federal level. Because Iowa has nothing in its state constitution guaranteeing the people of Iowa’s right to keep and bear arms, we would have no legal protection from infringements on the federal Second Amendment.
Amending the Iowa Constitution is the only way to make this situation right. But that’s easier said than done. Amending the state constitution isn’t like getting a bill signed into law. Amending the state constitution requires that a proposed amendment be voted on and approved by both the Iowa House of Representatives and the Iowa Senate. This has to happen in two general assemblies of the Iowa legislature, so this process could theoretically take up to four years just get this measure on the ballot. Then, and only then, is the proposed amendment placed on a statewide ballot and it’s then up to the people of Iowa to vote on it.
It’s a very difficult row to hoe and we have our work cut out for us. But if we can re-shape the landscape in the Iowa legislature and knock Iowa’s gun-control caucus from power our chances of passing this amendment go up significantly.
The anti-gunners in the Iowa legislature know a constitutional amendment is a goal of ours. Defeating it is a written goal of theirs. They’re perfectly fine leaving you open to federal gun control measures. But they’re also hedging their bets. They recognize that if the constitutional amendment movement begins to really take hold they’ll have to do something, anything in their power, to make that amendment as weak as possible in order to leave the door open for future gun control measures.
For years they’ve filed bills that would put a weakly written right to keep and bear arms amendment in the Iowa constitution. They’ve just never moved them forward as there’s been little support for a constitutional amendment from the pro-gun owner crowed. As firm believers in the people’s right to keep and bear arms the Iowa Firearms Coalition will be doing everything we can to make sure we get an amendment that is airtight with ZERO wiggle room for anti-gunners to infringe on Iowan’s God-given right to keep and bear arms.
Anti-gunners have already tipped their hand. We’ve seen the wording they want to use if push comes to shove. If they’re forced to do anything regarding a constitutional amendment they’ll almost certainly push for an amendment that simply mirrors the current Second Amendment in the U.S. Bill of Rights. On the surface this sounds great, “…shall not be infringed.” But that’s unacceptable. Way too many people think the Second Amendment is about hunting. Way too many people think “well regulated militia” means only the military. Way too many people think the right to keep and bear arms is not an individual right.
We have an opportunity to make the right to keep and bear arms crystal clear in Iowa and we intend to do just that.
Improving “…shall not be infringed.”
Here’s the exact language of the Second Amendment:
“A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.”
As we said, that sounds great. But if we have a chance to improve upon that, we’d be stupid not to. So, here’s what we want to see written into the Iowa Constitution.
“The right of the people to keep and bear arms, as herein expressed, shall not be infringed. The right of an individual to acquire, keep, possess, transport, carry, transfer, and use arms to defend life and liberty and for all other legitimate purposes is fundamental and shall not be infringed upon or denied. Mandatory licensing, registration, or special taxation as a condition of the exercise of this right is prohibited, and any other restriction shall be subject to strict scrutiny.”
Getting this language enshrined into the Iowa Constitution will be a monumental task. But the work, and the stress, and the campaigning required to make this happen will pale in comparison to the constant threat of more gun control measures coming down from ‘on high’ from a President Bloomberg or another President Clinton.
Sound the alarm
44 states have a right to keep and bear arms provision in their state constitutions. How Iowa failed to get this right in the original state constitution pre-dates all of us. But the important thing is that we get this fixed ASAP.
The Iowa Firearms Coalition has been pushing for this for years. But we need your help. We need you to help us educate Iowa’s firearms owners about this gross oversight. We’re here to protect and enhance the rights of all 3+ million Iowans, but the only way we can do that is if we have a groundswell of support. That wave has to start somewhere and we need that to be you. Make a constitutional amendment a personal priority. Explain this situation to your friends and family. Tell them you want to see your right to keep and bear arms written into the Iowa Constitution, and tell them who’s helping you make it happen. We’re here to help, but we need all of you to help raise the alarm about this critical issue. This is the biggest fight we can pick, and if it starts to take off we expect the anti-gunners to pullout all the stops. We’ll need each and every gun owner in Iowa to help push this over the finish line and into the Iowa Constitution.
Iowa Firearms Coalition is an entirely volunteer, grassroots, Second Amendment advocacy group. Responsible for bringing uniformity to Iowa’s Permit to Carry process, IFC’s members work to protect and enhance Second Amendment rights in Iowa. An affiliate of the National Rifle Association, the IFC actively seeks to foster and promote the shooting sports. Sign up for our email list for the latest on Second Amendment issues in Iowa. You can support our work by becoming a member, or making a donation.