Legislators in Iowa are a step closer to allowing “constitutional carry” in their state.
Iowans may no longer need to get a permit to carry a legally-owned gun after the Senate subcommittee passed a bill Monday eliminating that requirement, KWQC 6 News reported.
If the bill passes, Iowa would join the other 14 states that have adopted similar laws, the newest being South Dakota on Feb. 1.
NO PERMIT: A bill moving through the Iowa legislature would lift a requirement for residents to need a permit to buy or carry a gun in the state. https://t.co/D6Mt2iHTqj
— 23 WIFR (@23WIFR) February 12, 2019
Residents are torn on the bill, even gun owners who suggest that the outcome will not be good.
Some supporters say that requiring background checks and permits violates the constitutional right to keep and bear arms.
Iowa gun owner Barry Lancaster said, “I’m the first person to not want the government to tell me what to do, so it’s (a) double-edged sword.”
He added, “There are many people out there that have no business carrying a gun (…) even though constitutionality says you should have the right to do what you want to do.”
Handgun 101 instructor, Tom Hudson also has split feelings on the bill. He said,”Personally, we see that it’s a constitutional right to have the right to access to firearms and to do those things, but then from the practicality of every day in our society we know what people are already not doing to get good training and they’re walking in with a firearm and they’re not well equipped to be owning one.”
Under the current law, when an individual wants a gun permit, the sheriff would complete a background check on that person, and they would not require another one for five years. Under the new law, a federal background check would need to be done for every gun purchase.
Hudson said, “In a state that does not have a permit process, every single time a firearm is purchased at a retailer, the retailer is conducting a background check. So, there’s actually a much higher level of public safety under that scenario.”
“I don’t see why it would be in Iowa’s best interests to have government regulate the law-abiding and not have any way to regulate the lawbreakers,” said Republican Sen. Jason Schultz, according to the Des Moines Register.
Democrat Sen. Tony Bisignano stated that he does not support the bill because it allows handguns to be sold at gun shows and through personal sales without the need for a permit, background check, or gun safety class.
However, 15 senators backers of the bill, along with the National Rifle Association, the Iowa Firearms Coalition and Iowa Gun Owners groups, KCCI 8 News reported.