Voters in Iowa and Oregon made their voices heard at the ballot box on Election Day with very different results.
One state reiterated its support for the Second Amendment, while the other imposed crippling gun control laws on law-abiding citizens.
Iowans vote for freedom
Voters in Hawkeye State approve a voting action Add state-level Second Amendment guarantees to the Iowa Constitution to protect gun rights from possible future questionable gun restrictions. After collecting more than 65 percent When they voted, Iowans left little doubt that they believe in the Second Amendment.
The approved voting measure means the country’s constitution will be amended to add: “The right of the people to own and bear arms shall not be violated.” The sovereign state of Iowa affirms and recognizes this right as a fundamental individual right. Any restrictions on this right are subject to strict scrutiny.”
The amendment also enshrined the right to own and bear arms as “a fundamental individual right” and requires that all gun rights restrictions pass “rigorous scrutiny,” the highest legal hurdle that state legislatures must overcome.
On election night, supporters of Ballot Measure 1, or “The Freedom Amendment” as it has been called, praised the end result. “This is a historic day for liberty, civil rights and the state of Hawkeye,” said David Funk, President of the Iowa Firearms Coalition. “The right to self-defense is here to stay in Iowa, and we are grateful for the thousands of Iowans who took the time to vote for freedom.”
Iowa was one of only six remaining states that lacked the protections of the Second Amendment to the state constitution. Now only five remain: California, Maryland, Minnesota, New Jersey and New York.
Oregon goes the other way
It took much longer for votes to be counted in the Pacific Northwest, and in the end Oregon voters went in the opposite direction, endorsing a tough gun-choice measure that “virtually eliminate“The arms industry. Voting Measure 114 passed by a hair’s breadth, 50.7 percent to 49.3 percent, a difference of less than 26,000 votes. It will go into effect on December 8th, just three weeks from now.
Ballot Measure 114 extends background check requirements to all firearms transfers, including private transfers, and introduces a nationwide universal background check. The measure also requires gun owners to pay additional fees, enroll in hands-on gun training, and create a fingerprinting and data collection system. It also requires Oregon residents to obtain a gun purchase permit, a costly and time-consuming process even before they can pass an FBI National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) verification. Finally, the measure limits the capacity of the ammunition magazine to just 10 rounds.
The law will do little to stop criminals who are already breaking the law and using firearms to commit violent crimes. Law enforcement officials are already suggesting they won’t enforce it. This was reported by local media several county sheriffs across Oregon have proposed repealing the law on constitutional grounds.
“If you think this action will reduce school shootings or gun violence, unfortunately you are wrong,” Union County Sheriff Cody Bowen said said FoxNews. “But what has worked [to work] over and over again is… supporting your law enforcement, responsible gun ownership, teaching our children respect for human life at a younger age. We have to fall back on that.”
Jefferson County Sheriff Jason Pollack put it bluntly: saying“The Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office will not enforce Measure 114.” Some estimates suggest the measure will cost local governments 30 million dollars per year in processing costs.
The measure’s approval has sparked a boom in firearms sales that gun control advocates won’t be happy about. The Oregon State Police reported that background checks for firearm purchases have skyrocketed from the average 850 a day before the election to more than 4,000 per day since. This trend is consistent with NSSF data showing an increased interest in gun ownership in Oregon in recent years. As of 2020, more than 1 million Oregon residents have passed FBI National Instant Criminal Background Check (NICS) verification to purchase a firearm, according to NSSF data.
It typically takes 30 days for voting measures to become fully effective in Oregon. for now legal challenges are already hoping that the courts will agree that the measure is unconstitutional.
Larry Keane is SVP of Government and Public Affairs, Assistant Secretary and General Counsel of the National Shooting Sports Foundation.