November 27, 2022

Letter to the Editor: Support the Freedom Amendment

Voting has begun and Iowans can vote the “Freedom Amendment” into existence. Iowa is one of only six states that doesn’t have an expressed Right to Keep and Bear Arms provision. Iowa should leave the California, New York, New Jersey, Maryland, and Minnesota club and join the rest of the Nation.

The proposed Freedom 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.”

“Strict Scrutiny” is the highest standard of judicial review, or test, used by courts when the constitutionality of laws, regulations or other governmental policies is challenged. This standard is generally applied in cases involving fundamental rights. When using the standard of strict scrutiny, the court must presume that a government policy is unconstitutional, unless the government can prove that the policy is necessary to achieve a “compelling state interest” and that the policy is both “narrowly tailored” to achieve that purpose and employs the “least restrictive means” possible to do so. The Freedom Amendment’s mandate that the courts employ strict scrutiny provides strong protection of our right to keep and bear arms.

Interestingly, the recent Bruen decision (NYSRPA v Bruen) has directed lower courts to use an ever more rigid test in Second Amendment cases. Neither the Bruen directives nor the imposition of a strict scrutiny standard, should be reasonably expected to call into question existing laws. That will not change — and has not in the three states that have imposed strict scrutiny.

Support the Freedom Amendment on the back of the ballot in the lower right hand corner. If you choose not to utilize your rights, so be it. But don’t vote to take them, or any civil liberty, from others. And always remember, they aren’t “gun” rights — they’re human rights.

Michael Ware

Baxter