The Iowa chapter of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, part of Everytown for Gun Safety, today released the following statement after the Iowa Senate Judiciary Committee voted to advance HF 2502, legislation that would subject local elected officials to harsh punishments for taking action on gun violence and effectively force public buildings to allow guns:
“This would only compound Iowa’s gun violence crisis,” said Traci Kennedy, a volunteer with the Iowa chapter of Moms Demand Action. “Iowans deserve better.”
Preemption legislation is not popular in Iowa. Already, several cities, counties, and law enforcement associations have opposed this legislation — including the Iowa State Sheriffs’ & Deputies’ Association, the Iowa Police Chief Association, the Iowa State Association of Counties, and the Iowa League of Cities.
HF 2502 is dangerous legislation that would significantly broaden the state’s existing firearms preemption law, including by subjecting local officials who enact gun safety policies to the possibility of paying damages and attorneys fees; effectively forcing public buildings to allow people to carry loaded handguns inside; and preventing localities from enacting ordinances requiring Iowans to store their firearms responsibly.
Today’s Senate Committee hearing comes shortly after the Iowa House allowed a key deadline to pass without giving HF 2367, a potentially life-saving extreme risk bill, a committee hearing this session, despite broad support from Iowans for extreme risk laws.
In Iowa, there are an average of 264 gun deaths every year – 80 percent of these deaths are by gun suicide. Statistics about gun violence in Iowa are available here, and information on how Iowa’s gun laws compare to other states overall is available here.