Iowa's Second Amendment Preservation Act passes committee

(AP Photo/Alex Brandon, File)

When Missouri passed its version of the Second Amendment Preservation Act, everyone knew it was going to spark a firestorm. To call the law controversial is putting it mildly, to say the least.

However, there are upsides to such a law, particularly since it bars state and local police from enforcing certain laws. It doesn’t try to nullify anything.

And now, Iowa is looking at trying it too.

Iowa Senate Republicans are advancing an effort to protect the right to keep and bear arms from what they consider federal infringements on the Second Amendment.

But although a three-member Senate subcommittee passed the “Second Amendment Preservation Act,” Wednesday on a 2-1 vote, its Republican sponsor agreed with critics that the measure’s language must be reworked to address several concerns.

Senate File 2002, introduced by Sen. Zach Nunn, R-Bondurant,would prohibit state and local law enforcement officers from enforcing federal laws, regulations, executive orders and other rules “infringing on the right to keep and bear arms.”

Nunn, who is running for the Republican congressional nomination in Iowa’s 3rd District, said in an interview with the Des Moines Register Tuesday evening his concern is with federal agencies that he said could write rules that infringe on the Second Amendment without lawmakers weighing in.

“We’re concerned that there could be a move at the federal level, through a department or agency, that could really place some restrictions on a gun owner’s rights and have no one in the legislative body — either the federal level or the state level — making their voice heard,” he said.

I have the same concern and I like where these laws are trying to go.

My personal take, though, is that it might be better to see how Missouri’s law does in the courts before other states pass theirs. They can look at the rulings and, if the courts rule against Missouri, figure out how to create a similar law that conforms to what the courts are saying.

Iowa would do well to hold off on this for a bit, in my opinion.

That said, I do actually like such measures. I personally think they don’t run afoul of the Supremacy Clause in any way, either. After all, the state isn’t saying the law doesn’t exist within their borders, they’re just saying state and local police won’t enforce it.

And, frankly, I’m not sure you can force them to except maybe to cut off federal funding–which I figure would be the next step if the courts side with folks like Missouri.

But this is also a long way from a done deal.

So far, it made it out of a single committee. It still has a long road ahead of it, one that may turn out to be too treacherous for it.

We’ll have to see how it goes and whether the bill makes it all the way through. If not, well, that won’t be the end of it for certain, especially as challenges to Missouri’s law works through the judicial system.