Domestic Violence Concerns Ahead of Vote on IA Gun Measure
Monday, October 10, 2022
October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month, and advocates in Iowa are especially alarmed about what comes up in a few weeks: a proposed gun rights amendment on the November ballot.
It is a question of whether "strict scrutiny" language should be added to Iowa's constitution in establishing the right to keep and bear arms. Opponents say it would make it easier to overturn common-sense gun laws, including one prohibiting someone convicted of a misdemeanor domestic violence offense, or who is subject to a protective order, from having a firearm.
Lindsay Pingel, director of community engagement for the Iowa Coalition Against Domestic Violence, said such individuals should not possess a gun.
"It doesn't necessarily have to mean that the firearm even has to be used to cause harm," Pingel pointed out. "A person who harms might never fire that weapon at their victim, but they might use it to terrorize them."
She noted it includes pointing it at the victim or threatening to kill themselves. Supporters of the proposed amendment stressed Iowa is one of only six states to not have a right to bear arms in its constitution. They added their approach is in response to legal upholding of broader gun restrictions in the U.S., arguing backers of the laws have been able to work around the 2nd Amendment.
Matt Sinovic, executive director of Progress Iowa, another group opposed to the ballot question, said in Missouri, one of the states adopting "strict scrutiny" language, a case saw some success by leaning on the argument.
"It really will depend on the court and their interpretation of this because it is so new," Sinovic explained. "There's nothing that would prevent that from happening here in Iowa"
The ballot question comes after a recent U.S. Supreme Court ruling expanding rights to carry firearms in public. A recent state report noted Iowa has seen 12 domestic violence fatalities in the first eight months of 2022. And Pingel feels there are more dangerous situations where a weapon is present, not on the radar of police or service providers.
"We know that for every victim that we hear about that is reporting a crime, or we unfortunately hear about after a tragedy, there's always so many more who aren't reporting what is happening to them," Pingel emphasized.
get more stories like this via email
The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission approved a plan extending a natural-gas pipeline in Virginia. The Virginia Reliability Plan and Transcot's …
Today is Giving Tuesday, a day when millions of Americans are expected to make charitable donations. But it can also be a field day for scammers…
Health and Wellness
Starting Friday, North Carolinians will have greater access to health care as the long-awaited Medicaid expansion is launched. Medicaid will …
A new project in Southern Arizona aims to support local reporting and enable greater access to local news and information. Earlier this month…
As the weather turns colder, two groups of people in one North Dakota city that are generations apart appear to be in good shape to navigate housing …
Researchers are out with new findings they say show that death rates linked to air pollution from coal plants are underestimated. A Wisconsin …
Illinois high school seniors have new hurdles to overcome to get to college. High school students are waiting several extra weeks to get their hands …
Clean-energy companies and supporters are calling on federal officials to prioritize the development of charging infrastructure for EV powered medium …