Pro-Gun Advocates Call for Change to State Constitution

DES MOINES, Iowa  --  Pro-gun advocates gathered at the Iowa Statehouse for Second Amendment Day on Tuesday.

‘I Support the Second Amendment’ stickers filled the Statehouse on Tuesday as gun advocates gathered to push their legislative priorities. On the list was a Freedom Bill that has to do with the right to keep and bare arms.

The federal constitution protects people like Daryl Hasche's rights, but the state of Iowa does not.

“The second amendment is our basic right to self-protection, that’s the whole reason behind it," said Hasche, a Rock Rapids resident.

Advocates said if passed, this bill would conform the state constitution to the federal constitution.

“Constitutional amendment. We need to move that proposal forward so that Iowans have the opportunity to vote on that in 2020," House Republican Matt Windschitl of Missouri Valley said.

Iowa House Democrats say the wording in this bill is different from what’s in the federal constitution.

“This amendment here before us cuts out things like well-regulated militia, and instead installs this in our constitution with a judicial standard called strict scrutiny. So that would mean that baring a weapon in the state of Iowa would be subject to the same legal judgment as things like the freedom to religion," said House Democrat Liz Bennett of Cedar Rapids.

Following the recent mass shooting at a Florida school, some Democrats want tougher gun laws.

"It’s really inappropriate to be thinking about adding an extreme amendment to the Iowa constitution," Representative Bennett said.

Pro-gun advocates say there should be fewer restrictions.

"We should have the right to own anything the government owns," said Hasche.

Bennett, though, believes some of the weapons the law allows are already too powerful.