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Iowa Lawmakers Are Considering Eliminating Core State Gun Laws

Two dangerous proposals that would eliminate core Iowa public safety laws are being considered in the Iowa legislature. This morning, a Senate subcommittee will hold a hearing on SF 165, legislation that would repeal Iowa’s background check requirement for all handgun sales and allow people to carry hidden, loaded handguns in public without a permit or safety training. And this past Thursday, lawmakers in a House subcommittee held a hearing on HJR 3, a proposed “strict scrutiny” constitutional amendment which could also jeopardize Iowa’s background check law and concealed carry permitting system.

The hearings come despite recent polling showing the vast majority of Iowans — across party lines and including gun owners — support the core Iowa gun laws these proposals would undermine.

The poll of more than 1,200 registered voters, conducted by SurveyUSA on behalf of Everytown for Gun Safety Action Fund, found:

  • 90% of Iowa gun owners support the permitting requirement for carrying concealed handguns in public, and 92% of Iowa gun owners support the state’s background check requirement for all handgun sales.
  • The overwhelming majority of both Democrats and Republicans support Iowa’s concealed handgun permit and background check laws.
  • By a nearly 2-to-1 margin, more voters oppose a “strict scrutiny” constitutional amendment than support it.

Both HJR 3 and SF 165 would make Iowa an outlier. Only 3 states have adopted “strict scrutiny” amendments, which are designed to undermine state and local public safety laws and threaten even the most basic laws designed to keep guns out of the hands of felons and domestic abusers. And only one state — Missouri — has recently repealed their permit to purchase law, which led to a 25% increase in the state’s gun homicide rate.

If you’re interested in learning more about these dangerous bills and how they would upend current public safety standards in Iowa, please don’t hesitate to reach out.

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