Two Iowa pre-teen sisters have become a serious political force for gun activists in Iowa for trying to eliminate the states strict policy on age restrictions for handling handguns.
For the past three years, Natalie Gibson, 10, and Meredith Gibson,12, have lobbied Iowa lawmakers so that they can compete in competitive youth shooting matches using handguns. Currently, under state law, people under the age of 14 are not allowed to handle a handgun. Rifles and shotguns are not under the same restrictions as there is no age restriction on these types of firearms.
The girls are forced to compete and practice in neighboring states such as Illinois since the state of Iowa bars youth from competing in any type of handgun shooting competition.
Both girls have been shooting since the age of five and say that it gives them a sense of accomplishment and new friends.
The girls drafted a bill along with the Iowa Firearms Coalition to eliminate the age requirement to handle handguns and leaving parents in charge of the decision to allow their children to use handguns.
For the last three years the bill has passed in the state’s House of Representatives but hasn’t been able to pass in the Democratic-controlled Senate. In particular, they blame Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Steven Sodders for holding up the bill.
“We have thirty-seven senators that support us, but Senator Sodders doesn’t want to give it to one of those people who support us,” Natalie told the Washington Free Beacon.
The girls hope that the bill passes soon so that they can practice and compete in their home state. They hope to raise awareness for gun safety and get other young children involved in the sport.
The girls will continue to fight for gun rights as they plan to go door to door this summer to gain support for their proposed bill and fight against the Iowa Senate.