ICYMI: Rep. Ken Rizer Won’t Acknowledge His Record On Handgun Background Checks

To: Iowa Media
From: Adam Sege, Communications Associate at Everytown for Gun Safety
Subject: ICYMI: Rep. Ken Rizer Won’t Acknowledge His Record On Handgun Background Checks

Wanted to make sure you saw this Cedar Rapids Gazette story, covering efforts to highlight Rep. Ken Rizer’s concerning record on handgun background checks.

Rep. Rizer is trying to dodge his vote last year on a high-stakes gun bill, claiming in yesterday’s Gazette story that “no one brings up background checks” when he knocks on doors in his district. In a press release published after the Gazette story, he took a similar path, implying that background checks on gun sales aren’t among “the issues that Iowans care about.” That’s just not true. Volunteers with the Iowa chapter of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America are elevating gun safety as a priority issue across the state this election cycle, and former U.S. Representative Gabby Giffords was just in Cedar Rapids speaking to hundreds of Iowans about the importance of common sense gun laws.

Most concerningly, Rep. Rizer falsely suggests the bill he voted for would not have removed Iowa’s background check requirement for handgun purchases. The record shows otherwise, and voters deserve the truth: On March 10, 2015, Rep. Rizer voted for House File 527, a reckless proposal that would have eliminated Iowa’s law requiring background checks on all handgun sales, and let dangerous people buy handguns from unlicensed sellers, including strangers they meet online and at gun shows, with no background checks and no questions asked.

Federal law requires background checks on all gun sales from licensed dealers, but this federal requirement does not cover so-called private sales, including sales at gun shows and online. Eighteen states — including Iowa — go beyond federal law and require a background check on all handgun sales.