November 27, 2022

Letter to the Editor: Turn the ballot over and vote no

It would be hard to find any reasonably informed Iowans who are unconcerned about the rising level of gun violence in our state. On the ballot in Iowa, Iowans have the chance to vote no on a proposed constitutional amendment, also called Public Measure 1.

Public Measure No. 1 does NOT simply replicate the language of the Second Amendment to the Bill of Rights. After stating that “the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed,” the proposed amendment adds that “any and all restrictions of this right shall be subject to strict scrutiny.” Establishing this stringent standard of judicial review threatens the few public safety measures we have left for firearms in Iowa, threatens any new ones legislators may try to enact, and puts taxpayers on the hook for costly litigation. If Public Measure No. 1 is passed, a person could sue to overturn gun safety protections in our state, including laws that prohibit felons and domestic abusers from possessing firearms. The language in the measure is extremely vague, applying the strict scrutiny standard to any firearm “restrictions.” This could include everything from proposed red flag laws to existing hunter safety regulations to limits on carrying guns on school property.

Only three other states have enacted amendments like this one: Louisiana, Alabama and Missouri are all among the top five states with the highest rates of gun death in the country. All three have rates of gun death more than double Iowa’s current rate and their rates are rising more dramatically than the nation overall.

I am a Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America volunteer who lives in Central Iowa who is extremely concerned with rising gun violence in Iowa. This ballot measure is dangerous. Turn the ballot over and vote no.

Katie Jones

Des Moines