House Republican Leader Matt Windschitl talks as Senate Leader Jack Whitver listens. (RI photo)

Key backers of the gun rights amendment Iowa voters have just added to Iowa’s Constitution say they’ll introduce a series of gun-related proposals in the 2023 Iowa Legislature. House Republican Leader Matt Windschitl of Missouri Valley has been involved in gun-related issues since he was elected to the House in 2006.

“There are multiple different things we’ve been trying to get done to restore freedoms in Iowa and we’ve not been able to get across the finish line on some of those things,” Windschitl said this afternoon. “I’m not at a point right now where I’m going to discuss publicly what all of those items are, but you can expect us, after this victory, and restore freedoms to Iowans that never should have been taken away.”

Windschitl and others gathered in the statehouse this  afternoon for a ceremony to mark passage of the amendment.

“Iowans now have the best protections for their fundamental right to keep and bear arms of any state in the nation,” Windschitl said.

The amendment got a majority of votes in 97 of Iowa’s 99 counties.

“Iowans have made their voice loud and clear,” Windschitl said. “Our liberties we prize and our rights we will maintain.”

That last sentence is the state motto, adopted in 1847, the year after Iowa was recognized as a state. Secretary of State Paul Pate said the gun rights amendment was added to the state constitution on December 1st when statewide election results were certified.

Secretary of State Paul Pate reads the amendment. (RI photo)

“On November 8, Iowans voted overwhelmingly to amend the Constitution, enshrining in it the right to bear arms,” Pate said. “In fact, 65% of Iowans supported the adoption. Congratulations to all of you for your hard work and the efforts to secure its passage.”

Richard Rogers of the Iowa Firearms Coalition lobbied for the amendment as well as recent state laws on the use of weapons and gun permits.

“However, each and every improvement in the law was subject to being reversed, or worse, by the next or any future legislature,” Rogers said during the ceremony. “Now, with the ratification of this freedom amendment, as we call it, such a course will be much more difficult.”

This is the 49th amendment added to Iowa’s Constitution. It goes beyond the wording of the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution and says Iowa courts must evaluate any lawsuits challenging Iowa gun laws by the toughest legal standard.