pate iowa gun constitution amendment
Iowa Secretary of State Paul Pate courtesy
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Gun rights supporters have been fighting for years to amend the Iowa state constitution to recognize and protect the right to keep and bear arms. They’ve been pushing to add the following language:

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.

The process for amending the Iowa constitution is, by design, a heavy lift. A resolution supporting an amendment has to pass the legislature twice, in two separate sessions and then go before the voters.

After much debate and apocalyptic predictions by opponents, the first hurdle for the gun rights amendment was cleared when a resolution to add that language to the constitution passed both houses of the Iowa legislature in March by wide margins.

Step two required the resolution to be passed a second time by the next legislature with the goal of getting it on the 2020 ballot. To do that, notice of the resolution had to published in state newspapers in advance of the legislative session.

However, according to the Des Moines Register

Iowa Secretary of State Paul Pate confirmed to the Des Moines Register on Sunday night that his office failed to meet a key requirement that would have advanced a resolution first passed in the Legislature last year, which cleared the first of several hurdles required to amend the Iowa Constitution.

“Due to a bureaucratic oversight, my office failed to publish the required notifications in Iowa newspapers of two continuing resolutions passed by the Iowa Legislature last year. I accept full responsibility for this oversight and offer my sincerest apology to the legislators and supporters who worked so hard on these bills,” Pate said in a statement.

Oops. The screw-up is a huge setback for the gun rights effort. Supporters will now have to start over from the beginning of the process.

“It’s really unfortunate,” Gov. Kim Reynolds said Monday morning.

“We’ll do what we need to do to make it right,” the Republican governor said. “They’re still working through what that looks like.”

What it looks like, Governor, is bureaucratic functionaries doing what bureaucratic functionaries do with all the efficiency and competence we’ve come to expect of big government. The same functionaries to whom we’re asked to entrust the protection of our civil rights. The same functionaries who, in other states and at the national level, work tirelessly to limit those rights.

That’s what it looks like, Governor.

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  1. No, it looks like DELIBERATE non-compliance to me.

    Check for Soros monies and support at the state and local level.

    Been happening in Texas for over a decade with many successes at the local level.

    • No, strict scrutiny is actually a very high hurdle for any law to pass in a court challenge.

      In today’s world, “strict scrutiny” may actually confer a clearer intent and greater protections than “shall not be infringed”–as sad as that is.

      I’m in Iowa, and I’d have loved to see this Amendment pass as written. Republicans in national politics are a bunch of sniveling do-nothings. Republicans in Iowa currently control both houses and the governor’s office. In the last two or three years, we’ve passed laws to allow SBRs, suppressors, SBSs, legalize fireworks, de-fund planned parenthood, and many other things that national republicans would wet their pants over even attempting.

      This little snafu not withstanding, this is a fantastic time to be a Proud Iowan.

  2. Can you imagine said character getting away with such a purposeful act (don’t BS me) against any other group protecting its civil rights ? Oh soooo sorry Mr Black man, just get in the back of the bus and don’t you be touching no White women until we get this fixed !

    He did not even have the balls to resign.

  3. Looks like a political diversion tactic on the surface.

    That’s said. I wish it were tougher to get amendments on the ballot in Florida.

    • They can do whatever they want to make me more of a criminal here in Florida. I will NEVER comply to any unjust laws put through a voter initiative.

  4. Never ascribe to incompetence, ignorance or stupidity that which can very easily be explained as malevolent intent.

  5. That’s insane. Who thinks it’s okay to set back such an important process because of a bureaucratic “mistake”?

    • “That’s insane. Who thinks it’s okay to set back such an important process because of a bureaucratic “mistake”?

      It is called “smash-mouth” politics for a reason.

  6. Damn! That is a “heavy lift”, all right! With such conditions, it seems obvious that when the Leg passes it once, it should be carved in 3″ high letters on the door of the guy with responsibility for the next step. Instead, we just sorta “forgot” about it, huh? No big deal, right? We should at minimum forget to send him a paycheck, ever again.

  7. “Due to a bureaucratic oversight, my office failed to publish the required notifications in Iowa newspapers of two continuing resolutions passed by the Iowa Legislature last year. I accept full responsibility for this oversight…”

    So… he’s resigning effective immediately?

  8. “That’s what it looks like, Governor.” As though the governor actually cares. This is just another example of realpolitik, American style.

  9. Seems all to convenient to suspicious old me. By the way, is The Secretary of State appointed or is it an elective office?

      • 21 years since Iowa amended our Constitution. 1st I’ve ever heard of this requirement.

        There are some gunrights org in this state that ALSO had their head up their ass in not covering EVERY detail. DM Register/Pravda of the Plains wouldn’t miss it.

        Pate CERTAINLY had some drones in his office that area accountable/knew of this requirement.

  10. This should not even be necessary since it’s a right contained in the constitution. We need Trump to get the second amendment reinforced by the Supreme Court. And end all this garbage. New Jersey just had two shootings in two days Maybe the governor of NJ should focus on real gun issues instead of magazine content bans on magazine capacity

  11. Technical oversights don’t seem to stop ballot initiatives in Washington state.

    Funny how when it’s a law the statists want, it has to be passed immediately through emergency vote. Don’t worry about it, we’ll read it later. All these procedures are technicalities.
    When it’s a law the people want. Every “I” must be crossed, and “t” dotted. Oh did I mix that up? Sorry you have to start over now. Procedures must be followed you know. See you again in a decade.

    • “Passenger carries firearm through TSA screening at Atlanta onto Delta flight”

      Oh my. How fortunate we have been that such a thing has never happened when the entire government was funded and operating.

      We’re all doomed unless Republicrats fall into line with their hero Dimwitocrat “colleagues”.

  12. Notice how Liberals manage to get their legislation thru REGARDLESS of the requirements and Republicans are still playing by the rules and LOSING out.

  13. Either bureaucratic oversight. by the Sec. of State and his staff or a deliberate case of incompetence with plausible deniability. Either way the people should remember this at the next election and for now put constant pressure upon the Gov, Sec of State and their State Reps. Make them feel the fire of voter displeasure.

  14. Assume competence and follow up like Hell. Who associated with the authoring and pushing this bill should have been overseeing the process steps???

  15. Uhm,(kicks dirt with foot) we kinda forgot about that little Constitutional amendment thingy that was in the works for 2 years and getting so much press. Oh yeah, we’ll “make it right” after we are voted out of office of course. Wonder if they will try the same ruse twice or find some other creative way to derail this thing? Iowans just got knifed in the back by their “own”. These Republicans are little different than the demoncRats other than they won’t openly admit they also want to strip people of their freedoms and liberties just like the marxist-fascist demoncRats do, just more slowly.

  16. In the military, it’s well known that: “Incompetence is not a courts martial offense.”
    In this case, nobody is going to get even punished.
    What we are seeing is the “Beltway Mentality.” The bureaucrats in Washington DC. are generally liberal and self centered. Whoever is a President, or which party is in charge, doesn’t mean much. More important is empire building and increased importance.
    Here, some bureaucrats decided to sabotage the bill. Nobody is going to seek them out. In fact, even if they become known, punishment is unlikely.

  17. Likely means can’t go on the ballot until 2022 (leg has to adopot in 2020 and 2021. I hope my dad will be around long enough to vote on it.

  18. yeah yeah yeah but they can carry in a bar and drink
    we got the 2nd amendment language in the state constitution
    here in wisconsin
    and castle doctrine
    so we got that going for us
    which is nice

  19. People make mistakes….all the time. Just fix it and move on. Harping and dissecting don’t help matters.

  20. It doesn’t matter if it’s in the state constitution, because states ignore their own constitutions whenever the F they feel like it. Take New York state, for example, the state that’s competing with New Jersey and California for the stupidest gun laws.
    The New York State constitution actually has a gun rights provision virtually IDENTICAL to the 2nd Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.
    The NY State constitution says, “A well-regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state, the right to keep and bear arms cannot be infringed.”

    Notice it says “cannot” rather than “shall not.”
    Cannot, not shall not.

    My guess is this is what gives NY state politicians and judges an excuse to violate the right to keep and bear arms whenever the F they feel like it. They probably point to the word “cannot” and say to each other, “See, we can pass as many gun-grabbing anti-gun laws we want, and it CANNOT violate anyone’s rights! No matter what we do, the right to keep and bear arms CANNOT be infringed, so we can ban everything!”

    How else would you explain the fact that NY state judges, even in upstate and western NY state, have upheld the so-called SAFE Act that bans even target pistols as so-called “assault weapons”?

    • P.S.: Many .22 LR target pistols, such as the Ruger 10/22 Charger, are banned in NY State as so-called “assault pistols” merely because they weigh too much (50 oz), have a threaded barrel, or (like the .22 Charger) have a magazine outside the pistol grip. The .22 Charger target pistol has all three of these “evil features”, so it’s banned not only in NY State but also by neighboring New Jersey, but has a 10/22 Charger ever been used in a crime? Of course not! None of those NY State “assault weapon” features make a gun any more dangerous — in fact, they make it less dangerous and less likely to be used in a crime, because what criminal would lug around a 10/22 Charger target 22 when he could be carrying a Glock instead? Yet a Glock is okay in NY and NJ, but a 10/22 Charger 22 target pistol is considered an “assault weapon” by the ignorant hoplophobic legislatures of NY and NJ.

  21. “Iowa Gun Rights Amendment Won’t be on 2020 Ballot, Due to Jews inserting themselves into coordinated positions of all branches of government, media, academia, finance and industry and believing themselves to be the absolute theocratic monarch of the United States for the past 100 years.”

    There, i fixed it for you.
    Just added a little salt.

    Cue retorts from people who have never read any jewish books, or probably any books at all for that matter, and don’t know any jews personally nor have ever been to temple.

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