As gun control measures at the federal level continue to be a hotly contested issue, Republican-led red states are pushing back by considering bans on the enforcement of federal gun control laws and regulations. Montana already has such a ban, and Missouri, Nebraska, and Arizona have also implemented similar measures. In addition, Iowa, Ohio, Georgia and other red states are now considering similar legislation.
In Iowa, state Rep. Jeff Shipley (R) is leading the push for a ban on enforcing federal gun control measures in his state. He is supported by Carroll County Attorney John Werden, who has stated that he sees the issue as a matter of states’ rights rather than a liberal or conservative one.
Gaining traction: The pro-gun law opposed by gun groups and law enforcement https://t.co/6ba5UkXWEf
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Iowans have already taken steps to protect their Second Amendment rights by adopting a constitutional amendment in November 2022. The amendment goes beyond the protections offered by the U.S. Constitution’s Second Amendment. Specifically, it provides for the right to keep and bear arms to be a “fundamental individual right.” It also specifies that any restrictions on this right must be subject to judicial review under “strict scrutiny.”
Strict scrutiny is the highest legal standard of review for government regulation. The standard requires that any restrictions on gun rights be narrowly tailored to achieve a compelling state interest. The amendment’s supporters argued that it was necessary to protect Iowans’ rights from infringement and ensure that courts reviewing Second Amendment cases were more protective of gun rights.
The Iowa Firearms Coalition President, Dave Funk, praised the approval of the ballot measure, calling it a “historic day for freedom, civil rights and the Hawkeye state.”
Gun control advocates argue that the amendment would make it easier to strike down existing gun laws and make it harder to pass new regulations. The Iowans for Responsible Gun Laws called the amendment “reckless” and warned that it would “only serve to put Iowans in harm’s way.”
The debate over gun control in Iowa and other GOP-led states will heat up as the 2024 election cycle approaches. Meanwhile, federal courts will be challenged with interpreting and applying recent Supreme Court precedents that strengthen the fundamental American right to self-defense and to keep and bear arms.