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Iowa Moms Demand Action, Everytown Criticize Iowa Legislature for Passing Constitutional Amendment Designed to Undermine Core Iowa Gun Laws

March 13, 2019

DES MOINES — The Iowa chapter of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, part of Everytown for Gun Safety, today released the following statement after the Iowa House and Senate each passed a “strict scrutiny” constitutional amendment that – if signed by the governor and enacted through a 2021 ballot initiative – could undermine core Iowa gun laws like:

  • Iowa’s permit requirement for carrying a concealed handgun
  • Iowa’s background check requirement for all handgun sales.

“Only three states have enacted strict scrutiny amendments, and Iowa should not be the fourth,” said Katie Albrecht, volunteer chapter leader with the Iowa chapter of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America. “This is designed to undermine to Iowa’s reasonable public safety laws, and it would be a truly extreme change to our constitution. The legal text matters here, and the truth is that the language in this amendment poses a direct threat to Iowa public safety laws that keep guns out of the hands of people who shouldn’t have them.”

Only 3 states have adopted “strict scrutiny” amendments, which are designed to undermine state and local public safety laws and threaten even the most basic laws that keep guns out of the hands of felons and domestic abusers. Prior to 2012, no states had enacted a strict scrutiny law. Adding this extreme language to Iowa’s constitution could undermine core state gun laws, including Iowa’s handgun background check law and concealed carry permitting system.

A recent poll of more than 1,200 registered voters available here, conducted by SurveyUSA on behalf of Everytown for Gun Safety Action Fund, found:

  • By a nearly 2-to-1 margin, more voters oppose a proposed “strict scrutiny” constitutional amendment than support it. After the potential implications of the amendment were explained, 54% of Iowa voters indicated opposition to the proposal, compared to just 28% indicating support.
  • 90% of Iowa gun owners support the permit requirement for carrying concealed handguns in public, and 92% of Iowa gun owners support the state’s background check requirement for all handgun sales.
  • The overwhelming majority of both Democrats and Republicans support Iowa’s concealed handgun permit and background check laws.

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