This Election Day, Iowans will be asked to vote on an amendment to our state Constitution. On its face, the amendment seems like a copy of the Second Amendment. However, what many Iowans don’t know is that the phrase “strict scrutiny” is a legal term with extreme implications.
“Strict scrutiny” requires a court to apply the highest level of scrutiny possible to decide whether a law is unconstitutional. This approach has been used to override the original intent of laws, has led to frivolous lawsuits, undermined case law, and jeopardized common sense gun laws.
Some current gun safety laws keep felons and people convicted of certain domestic violence crimes from having firearms. Other laws prohibit guns in schools and restrict possession of machine guns and other offensive weapons.
As a retired career law enforcement official of 36 years, I know the importance of these laws. I am a gun owner. I have had many hours of weapons training during my career. Our forefathers created the Second Amendment. I would favor adding the same wording to the Iowa Constitution instead of the proposed language of “strict scrutiny.”
Gun deaths are the leading cause of death of children in America, and the second leading cause here in Iowa. The gun death rate in Iowa is increasing faster than the national average. We owe it to ourselves, to our communities, and to our children to do better.
On Election Day, vote no on Amendment 1.
Rick Lincoln, DeWitt
Rick Lincoln served as Clinton County sheriff and is now retired.