Arizona -(Ammoland.com)- Iowa is one of only six states that do not have some sort of protection for the right to keep and bear arms in their state constitution. A amendment to change that seemed to have a good chance of passing.
The amendment suffered a severe setback because the Iowa Secretary of State failed to publish the amendment before the 2018 elections.
The long process of adding gun rights the Iowa Constitution must begin again due to a mistake at the Iowa secretary of state’s office.
Iowa Secretary of State Paul Pate said Monday that his office forgot to publish official details of the Legislature’s plan to amend the Iowa Constitution.
Pate apologized, but gun rights supporters said are not happy with the mistake. “I have six children and a husband who travels so (gun rights are) important to me,” said Jessica Pedersen, of Ankeny.
The process to amend the Iowa Constitution is long and difficult. First, the legislature has to pass the amendment.
- Then, an election must occur.
- Then, the legislature has to pass the amendment again.
- Then the amendment is offered in a referendum at the next election.
If the people approve of it with a majority vote, it passes and becomes part of the Iowa Constitution.
The Iowa legislature, after years of struggle, passed the amendment in March of 2018. Part of the process is for the Secretary of State to have the amendment published in the papers of record that preserve the official acts of the legislature.
That did not occur. For the Amendment to proceed the publication had to happen *before* the 2018 election. It did not. From desmoinesregister.com:
A Republican-led effort to add gun rights to the Iowa Constitution must start over because the state’s top election office did not complete a key step in the yearslong process, a mistake they described as a “bureaucratic oversight.”
Republican lawmakers and pro-gun advocates said they were shocked and angry after Iowa Secretary of State Paul Pate confirmed that his office failed to publish the required notifications that the Legislature had begun the process of amending the state constitution in Iowa newspapers.
A second Constitutional amendment, clarifying the succession rules for the Governor and Lt. Governor, was overlooked as well. The Secretary of State failed to publish SJR 2006. Both amendments will need to be voted on again and passed by both houses of the legislature before they are sent to the people in referendums.
A similar error occurred in 2004, but was less consequential. It involved the removal of the words “idiot” and “moron” from the Iowa Constitution. The right to keep and bear arms amendment seemed likely to pass, because both houses of the legislature are still controlled by Republicans. Now the amendments will have to wait for another election before a second vote of the legislature can be taken. Right to keep and bear arms amendments have been sent to the voters in several states over the last 22 years. All have been approved by wide margins.
There are 280,000 active concealed carry permits in Iowa. In 2016, 1.58 million people voted. People who have permits tend to be registered and to vote. Because the Secretary of state failed to publish both amendments, it seems unlikely that the failure was an act of political sabotage.
About Dean Weingarten:
Dean Weingarten has been a peace officer, a military officer, was on the University of Wisconsin Pistol Team for four years, and was first certified to teach firearms safety in 1973. He taught the Arizona concealed carry course for fifteen years until the goal of constitutional carry was attained. He has degrees in meteorology and mining engineering, and recently retired from the Department of Defense after a 30 year career in Army Research, Development, Testing, and Evaluation.