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Iowa: Strong Pro-Gun Omnibus Improvement Bill Passes House, Senate Companion Bill Heads to Floor

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Iowa: Strong Pro-Gun Omnibus Improvement Bill Passes House, Senate Companion Bill Heads to Floor

Today, House File 527 passed by the state House with a 75 to 24 vote.  Your NRA has worked alongside the Iowa Firearms Coalition and pro-gun legislators to move the most comprehensive pro-gun omnibus package in recent history.  Thank you to the House Leadership as well as House Judiciary Chair Chip Baltimore.  Also, thank you to those who showed their support and made this possible!  However, your support is now needed as Senate File 425, similar legislation to HF 527, leaves the Senate Committee and heads to the Senate Floor.

SF 425, originally Senate Study Bill 1251, received a new number after passing out of committee.  Like HF 527, SF 425 will need your full support to advance off the Senate floor with the below described provisions!  Anti-gun activists and legislators have turned up the pressure and have attempted to strip SF 425 of key provisions, including permit privacy and youth handgun possession.  Permit holders in Iowa deserve a law that recognizes their right to have identifying information kept private and secure from those who would abuse it -- a right that over 40 other states currently afford their permit holders.  Additionally, parents should have the right to make the decision regarding when a child is mature and strong enough to be taught firearm safety and not have to wait until their child reaches an arbitrary age decided by the state. 

It is important for Iowans that these provisions stay in SF 425 as it moves forward! 

This legislation seeks to make many changes to benefit law-abiding gun owners, shooters and sportsmen alike: 

  • Removes permit-to-acquire requirement for handgun purchases, which will in turn remove the de facto three-day waiting period for handguns, while creating an optional permit to acquire firearms that will now be good for five years instead of one.
  • Legalizes ownership and possession of firearm sound suppressors.
  • Requires that certification by a chief law enforcement officer (CLEO), when a signoff is required for the transfer of a firearm or other item regulated by the National Firearms Act (NFA), be provided within 30 days as long as the applicant is not prohibited by law from receiving the firearm or other item. 
  • Eases the concealed weapons permitting renewal process by only requiring retraining every 10 years (as opposed to five), providing for a 60 day window for application for renewal, and allowing any training done within 24 months of initial application or permit expiration date to qualify.
  • Lengthens the window in which you can renew your permit from the current 30 days prior to expiration requirement, to allowing you to renew 30 days before or after the expiration date on the permit.  
  • Creates a training exception for veterans of the Armed Forces from ever having to go through initial training or retraining if they can produce their military qualifications at the time of application.
  • Removes the arbitrary age prohibition on the use and possession of a handgun or handgun ammunition.  Under current law, if a parent wishes to teach their child to shoot a long gun, they can, but they are currently prohibited from teaching a child under 14 how to use a pistol or revolver.  This change allows parents to make the decision of when a child is mature and strong enough to be taught firearm safety.
  • Ensures confidentiality of personal information of all current and renewing applicants for a concealed weapons permit, making personal information of those permit holders private to everyone other than law enforcement agencies.  Information you submit to obtain your permit will no longer be subject to public information requests.
  • Allows law enforcement to verify 24/7 by electronic means the validity of a concealed weapons permit through a statewide verification system.  This new system may help Iowa gain reciprocity with other states.  However, this system is not a gun registry or database of firearm owners, but simply contains information that verifies if a permit is valid or not.  It will not include information on specific firearms you own, or information on individuals who own firearms but do not have a permit.
  • Creates uniform permits throughout the state that only contain necessary information on the card.  This will apply to both a permit to carry and the now optional permit to acquire.  Permits will no longer list a person’s home address on the card.
  • Strengthens penalties for “straw purchases,” the practice where someone who is prohibited from having a firearm obtains one by having another person purchase a firearm for them.  Federal law already prohibits straw purchases, however Iowa law is not as clear on this topic. 

Your NRA-ILA will continue to keep you updated as floor votes are scheduled and pro-gun legislation continues to move forward in the House and Senate.  In the meantime, please contact your state Senator  and urge him or her to SUPPORT SF 425 and to ensure the house language is adopted.

Click here to identify who represents you. 

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Established in 1975, the Institute for Legislative Action (ILA) is the "lobbying" arm of the National Rifle Association of America. ILA is responsible for preserving the right of all law-abiding individuals in the legislative, political, and legal arenas, to purchase, possess and use firearms for legitimate purposes as guaranteed by the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.