Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds signed a bill into law on Friday that removes certain limitations on law-abiding citizens’ ability to purchase or carry a handgun in the state.
The NRA-backed “House File 756” bill goes into effect on July 1 and removes the need for law-abiding Iowans to obtain a permit in order to buy a handgun from a private non-licensed source. People would also no longer be allowed to have a permit in order to carry a firearm.
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Individuals will also be required to obey federal legislation and submit to an immediate background check when purchasing a gun from a licensed seller.
Failure to comply with the new legislation will be charged with a Class D crime, which carries a maximum sentence of five years in jail. If a person sells, leases, or lends a weapon to someone the seller “knows or reasonably should know” isn’t legally authorized to have one or is intoxicated, it would be considered a felony.
After signing the bill, Reynolds said, “Today I signed legislation that preserves the 2nd Amendment rights of Iowa’s law-abiding people while also banning the selling of weapons to offenders and other dangerous individuals.”
“This legislation also requires further measures to notify law enforcement of a person’s mental illness, ensuring that guns do not end up in the wrong hands,” she said. “While we will never be able to outlaw or discourage every single bad person from possessing a weapon, we can ensure that law-abiding citizens have full access to their constitutional rights while keeping Iowans safe.”
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The National Rifle Association (NRA) thanked the governor for signing the bill authorizing law-abiding individuals to carry a concealed weapon without first obtaining a permit from the government.
House File 756 was approved 60–37 on March 22, with all Republicans voting in favor, as well as Democrat state Rep. Wes Breckenridge. The Senate has a Republican majority, and a similar bill was already passed through a committee.
Iowa is also one of 19 states in the United States where law-abiding citizens do not need a permit to carry a gun for self-defense.
Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Idaho, Kansas, Kentucky, Maine, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, New Hampshire, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Utah, Vermont, West Virginia, and Wyoming are among the 18 states that have done away with this provision.
Democrats have spoken out against the bill, calling it dangerous and a “reckless disregard for Iowans’ safety and well-being.”
In response to Reynolds signing the bill, Iowa Democratic Party Chair Representative Ross Wilburn said, “Our neighborhoods aren’t safer when offenders can legally buy a handgun without a background check.”
He said, “Background checks are wildly popular, even among gun owners, as a common-sense way to keep people safe.” “This form of law has no function other than to please the gun lobby and their influential lobbyists.”
The National Shooting Sports Foundation’s director of public relations, Mark Olivia, told The Epoch Times that laws regulating gun ownership had dubious roots.
“Gun control laws have their origins in Jim Crow-era discriminatory laws that were intended to deprive citizens their rights,” he clarified. “Your permit is your freedom to bear arms under the Second Amendment. The notion of needing a permit to exercise your right to keep and bear arms under the Second Amendment is diametrically opposed to what your rights as an American are at birth.”