Official’s ‘oversight’ derails key Iowa gun rights amendment

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) — A plan to give Iowa residents expansive gun rights has been derailed after the state’s elections office forgot to notify the public of the constitutional amendment approved by lawmakers last year.

Iowa Secretary of State Paul Pate tells the Des Moines Register that a “bureaucratic oversight” resulted in his office’s failure to publish notice of the amendment in newspapers before last fall’s elections as required.

The error means that amendment supporters likely must start over and that the earliest it could appear on ballots for a statewide referendum is 2022, instead of 2020. The amendment sponsor, Rep. Matt Windschitl, calls it a “monumental setback.”

The plan would amend the Iowa Constitution to declare that the “right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.” Critics say the plan would block gun safety laws.

The error was first reported by the Bleeding Heartland blog.