DES MOINES, Iowa – State Senator Claire Celsi, D-West Moines, tweeted on Tuesday afternoon that “gun-toting protestors totally abused their privilege.”
The first-term legislator responded to an article reporting that Michigan could consider a ban on weapons in the state capitol after some residents protesting Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s stay-at-home orders open carried weapons into the statehouse.
While not every gun rights activist and opponent of stay-at-home orders support open carrying during last week’s protest in Michigan, some criticized Celsi over her use of the word “privilege.”
WHO Radio host Simon Conway tweeted at Celsi, “The Second Amendment is not a ‘privilege’ Senator, it’s a Constitutional Right. I’d be happy to give you a copy of the Constitution.”
Another asked, “(D)o Iowa state senators take an oath to uphold the United States Constitution, or was an amendment passed allowing them to ignore it?”
Yet another asked, “So the 2A is optional? Are you telling me your version of police state is what’s designed to keep me safe(?)”
Iowa Firearm Coalition tweeted a picture of their recent day at the Iowa State Capitol where no visible weapons were present.
The Second Amendment reads, in part, “the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.”
Iowa recently passed legislation allowing concealed carry on state capitol grounds, but open carry is still illegal.
However, Iowa’s Constitution does not include gun rights language. The Iowa Legislature in 2019 passed a constitutional amendment that would add such language to the state constitution.
It reads, “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 amendment will need to be passed during the next General Assembly before Iowa voters have the opportunity to ratify it.