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Iowa: Comprehensive Pro-Gun Legislation Passes in House, Heads Back to Senate

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Iowa: Comprehensive Pro-Gun Legislation Passes in House, Heads Back to Senate

Today, Senate File 427 passed in the Iowa House of Representatives by a 73 to 25 vote.  Amendment 1177, which includes some of the original provisions from NRA-backed omnibus Senate File 425, was adopted by voice vote.  SF 427 has been sent back to the Senate for concurrence.  It is critical that you contact Senate leadership and urge them to bring up SF 427 as soon as possible, and to vote for adoption of the bill, as is.

As previously reported, SF 427 was originally a standalone bill to legalize possession and ownership of firearm sound suppressors, however, last week, the House Judiciary Committee created Amendment 1177 to include additional pro-gun provisions.  SF 427, as passed by the House, will now do the following:

  • Legalize ownership and possession of firearm sound suppressors.
  • Require 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.
  • Ease the concealed weapons permitting renewal process by only requiring retraining every ten years (as opposed to five), allowing for an internet training course to qualify for retraining, 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.
  • Lengthen 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.
  • Create 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.
  • Remove 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 fourteen 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.
  • Allow 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.
  • Create 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.
  • Strengthen 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.

The Senate now has another opportunity to pass meaningful pro-gun legislation this year.  Please contact Senate leadership and your state Senator immediately and politely urge them to pass SF 427 as amended by the House of Representatives.  Your active support will make the difference!

You can contact the Senate switchboard at (515) 281-3221.

 

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