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Iowa: Pro-Gun Omnibus Bill Stalled in Senate, Your Action Needed Immediately

Monday, May 11, 2015

Iowa: Pro-Gun Omnibus Bill Stalled in Senate, Your Action Needed Immediately

Session is nearing a close in The Hawkeye state.  Important pro-gun provisions remain on the table and are in danger of going unheard by the Iowa Senate for yet another session. 

As previously reported, Senate File 427 overwhelmingly passed with a pro-gun amendment by the Iowa House of Representatives on April 8.  The Iowa Senate leadership has stalled for more than a month and still has not taken any action to consider SF 427.  It is critical that you contact Senate leadership today and politely urge them to bring up pro-gun SF 427 as soon as possible, and to vote for adoption of the bill as passed by the House.

SF 427, as passed by the Senate, was originally a standalone bill to legalize possession and ownership of firearm sound suppressors.  However, the House Judiciary Committee created Amendment 1177 to include additional pro-gun provisions, in an attempt to restore many of the pro-gun provisions found in Senate File 425 and its companion, House File 527, the original omnibus pro-gun legislation that was also not considered by the Senate despite overwhelming support.

SF 427, as passed by the House and awaiting consideration by the Senate, contains the following provisions:

  • 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 still has time to pass meaningful, pro-gun legislation this year.  Please contact Senate leadership and your state Senator immediately and politely urge them to bring up and pass SF 427 as passed by the House.

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

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