Voters Weighed Two Very Different Gun Control Ballot Measures
Two states this week posed gun law questions to their voters and received two quite different results at the polls – neither one very encouraging to the anti-gun crowd.
Republicans carried the day by large margins almost exclusively – including Gov. Kim Reynolds, besting her opponent by almost 20 points, U.S. Sen. Chuck Grassley picking up his eighth term, and all four Congressional seats going red, including the one held by Democrat incumbent U.S. Rep. Cindy Axne's. With that in mind, it should be no surprise that a pro-gun ballot initiative met with slam-dunk approval.
Iowa Constitutional Amendment 1 - Right to Keep and Bear Arms, with 95 percent of the votes tabulated by Wednesday night, earned 745,118 "yes" votes against just 398,881 "no" votes, a nearly 2:1 ratio.
As detailed by voter guides:
Shall the following amendment to the Constitution be adopted?
Summary: Provides that the right of the people of Iowa to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed. The sovereign state of Iowa affirms and recognizes the right to keep and bear arms as a fundamental right. Any and all restrictions of this right shall be subject to strict scrutiny.
Full Text: Article I of the Constitution of the State of Iowa is amended by adding the following new section: Right to keep and bear arms. Sec. 1A. The right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed. The sovereign state of Iowa affirms and recognizes this right to be a fundamental individual right. Any and all restrictions of this right shall be subject to strict scrutiny.
In a state that houses such wildly progressive hubs as Portland and Eugene, any rational-thinking person would imagine that an anti-gun ballot initiative of almost any nature would gain an easy up-vote in the largely blue state. After all, Biden carried the state by 16 points just two years ago.
Requires permit to acquire firearms; police maintain permit/firearm database; criminally prohibits certain ammunition magazines
Result of 'Yes' Vote: 'Yes' vote requires background check, safety training, fee for permit to acquire firearms; state police maintain new permit/ firearm database; criminally prohibits certain magazines; exceptions.
Result of 'No' Vote: 'No' vote retains current law: seller/ transferor must request criminal background check; permit, safety course not required; no magazine capacity restrictions.
Despite the anti-gun group cheerleading for Measure 114 rushing to declare victory on the initiative, voters except for those in the Portland and Eugene metro clusters rejected the new host of restrictions. As of Wednesday night, the results showed Measure 114 winning the day in only four out of Oregon's 36 counties with a total statewide tally breaking at 793,015 (50.8 percent) in favor vs. 767,077 (49.2 percent) against, with some 72 percent of votes counted. While the numbers are still tight as of the time of publication, a "yes" vote of such a slim margin is hardly a popular mandate for what may eventually be ruled an unconstitutional limit on Second Amendment rights.
Already, some Oregon sheriffs are vowing to refuse enforcement of the measure should it become law.
"Unfortunately, we are seeing the passage of Ballot Measure 114, which creates a required permitting system in order to purchase firearms AND bans gun magazines capable of holding more than 10 rounds," wrote Linn County Sheriff Michelle Duncan on Wednesday. "This is a terrible law for gun owners, crime victims, and public safety. I want to send a clear message to Linn County residents that the Linn County Sheriff’s Office is NOT going to be enforcing magazine capacity limits. This measure is poorly written and there is still a lot that needs to be sorted out regarding the permitting process, who has to do the training and what exactly does the training have to cover."