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EDITORIAL: Gun rights

CR Gazette – By The Gazette Editorial Board –

Ideas for amending Iowa’s constitution are piling up at the Statehouse.

The latest would add gun rights to the document. The Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution already guarantees the right of the people to keep and bear arms, but supporters of a state amendment say it’s not enough.

For one thing, they contend, our nation’s founders didn’t go far enough. The state proposal, HJR 2005, says Iowans have the right to “acquire, keep, possess, transport, carry, transfer, and use arms to defend life and liberty and for all other legitimate purposes is fundamental and shall not be infringed upon or denied.” It also prohibits any licensing or registration of firearms.

We think the measure is unnecessary. The Second Amendment is an adequate safeguard of individual liberty, and there is no need for a long and costly state process to one up the U.S. Constitution.

And although we support gun rights, we also believe that Iowans should have the ability to propose, discuss and enact common-sense limits on the possession and use of firearms. The broad nature of the state amendment proposal clearly seeks to end that discussion, toss out decades of reasonable regulation and erase the ability of citizens to ask elected leaders for even modest safeguards. It’s an unjustified overreach that should not move forward.

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