The Iowa House of Representatives has passed a gun bill that allows residents to carry and buy firearms even without a permit. The proposal now heads to the state Senate for deliberation and consideration.
This is the first time that an entire Iowa Congress chamber passed this type of bill. However, those who support gun rights have tried to push such a measure for many years in order to eliminate the state’s requirement for a gun permit.
House File 756 was approved by the state House with a 60-37 vote on Wednesday night. This comes following a long debate that lasted for several hours. All state GOP representatives, along with Democratic Rep. Wes Breckenridge, has backed the legislation. Meanwhile, all other Democratic representatives have opposed it. A similar measure was approved by the state Senate through committee, but the House has not voted for that yet.
GOP representatives backed the bill, arguing that it protects the Second Amendment rights of citizens. However, Democrats and gun control advocates said it would also eliminate the state’s background check for gun sales. They argue that guns may easily end up in the hands of those who should not possess them.
Iowa Gun Bill Recognizes Fundamental Rights of People to Keep and Bear Arms
According to Rep. Steven Hold (R-Denison), who sponsored the bill, the measure recognizes that keeping and bearing firearms is a “fundamental right,” instead of a privilege. He added that Iowans should not be asked to get permission first in order to buy a gun.
If the bill becomes law, Iowans still have the ability to procure permits to carry or buy firearms. However, this would become optional. Those who support the proposal say a lot of people would likely still apply to get permits so that they can carry their guns outside Iowa.
Under the bill, anyone who purchases a gun from a federally licensed dealer is still required to pass a background check or show a permit to carry. The latter would indicate that the said person has passed a background check before.
Firearm sales among private citizens, however, would not require Iowans to apply and acquire a permit first. Additionally, the bill indicates that the selling or loaning of a gun to a person that the seller “knows or should know” is not allowed to own one, would be considered a Class D felony. If proven guilty under this charge, a person may face punishment of up to five years’ imprisonment.