By: Teresa Mull
Iowa is looking to become the next state to make it so residents don’t have to ask the government permission to exercise their Second Amendment rights.
“Currently, whether we want to admit it or not, our system of permits is one of mistrust,” said Sen. Jason Schultz (R-Schleswig), sponsor of House File 756. “That means you can exercise a fundamental right, but you must prove yourself not guilty in advance. That is not how America is supposed to work, and I’m not happy with the way our federal government is moving right now. But I know it’s not the way Iowa works, and we’re going to deal with that now.”
HF 756 passed the Senate along party lines yesterday, with a 30-17 vote.
The Des Moines Register reports, however, that “A spokesperson for [Gov. Kim] Reynolds declined to comment on the legislation. Reynolds has previously said Iowa has 'reasonable and responsible gun laws on the books' and that she believes the current permit system — for which she voted for as a state senator in 2010 — should remain in place.”
Iowa Republican Senators also voted yesterday to pass House File 621, reports the Sioux City Journal, “…a separate measure that would prohibit individuals from suing firearm manufacturers and dealers for damages resulting from a third-party’s criminal or unlawful use of a firearm.”
Should Iowa adopt Constitutional Carry, it would become our nation’s 19th state to do so, and the third state to enact permitless carry in 2021 alone. Utah and Montana became the 17th and 18th Constitutional Carry states, respectively, when they adopted the measure in February. Several other states are currently considering adopting Constitutional Carry, though some states, including Indiana and Tennessee, have flaws in their bills.
Bearing Arms reported in 2020 on a WalletHub study that found, “…[F]ully half of the ten safest cities are in states that have very strong Second Amendment protections, including Constitutional or permitless carry.”
The National Association for Gun Rights (NAGR) applauded Iowa for its progress with Constitutional Carry.
“When I helped found Iowa Gun Owners fourteen years ago, our primary goal was to pass Constitutional Carry,” said NAGR President Dudley Brown. “Politicians laughed at us and said it would never happen in our lifetime, but years of grassroots activism of pro-gun Iowans is finally paying off and a landmark victory for the Second Amendment is within reach.”
The National Association for Gun Rights urges Governor Kim Reynolds to sign H.F. 756, the Constitutional Carry bill without delay.
Keep your eyes on Iowa, and if you live there, keep the pressure on, too!
Teresa Mull (email@example.com) is editor of Gunpowder Magazine.