Explore The NRA Universe Of Websites

Gun Control Supporters Distort Iowa Legislation on Youth Handgun Possession

Friday, March 4, 2016

Gun Control Supporters Distort Iowa Legislation on Youth Handgun Possession

Willful ignorance of firearm function, culture, and law are well-known characteristics of the gun control movement. However, the principals in a recently manufactured controversy, surrounding legislation in Iowa that would allow properly supervised youth to use handguns for the shooting sports, have shown a particular disregard for the facts and prevailing law.

Current Iowa law makes it a misdemeanor to transfer a handgun to those under the age of 21, with a few exceptions. A parent, guardian, or spouse over 21 may allow those ages 14-20 to possess a handgun while the minor is under their direct supervision, or while receiving instruction. Iowa has a blanket prohibition on handgun possession for all those under 14, regardless of parental supervision. Current law even prevents those under 14 from engaging in traditional handgun safety instruction.

This restriction is significantly out-of-step with the vast majority of the country; including some of the most anti-gun jurisdictions. While the various states have different contours dealing with youth handgun possession, a cursory look at Iowa’s immediate neighbors proves instructive.

Take for instance Iowa’s neighbor, Illinois. The Land of Lincoln allows those under 18 to participate in “lawful recreational activity” using a handgun, while in the custody or control of a parent or guardian with a valid Firearm Owners Identification Card. Similarly, Wisconsin, allows those under 18 to participate in “target practice under the supervision of an adult or in a course of instruction in the traditional and proper use of the dangerous weapon under the supervision of an adult.”

In Minnesota, those under 18 may possess a handgun “in the actual presence or under the direct supervision of the person's parent or guardian.” Nebraska law makes clear that their restriction on the possession of handguns by those under 18 does not apply to the “temporary loan of handguns for instruction under the immediate supervision of a parent or guardian or adult instructor.”

South Dakota law bars handgun possession by those under 18, but provides exceptions for youth in certain circumstances with the consent of their parent or guardian. Missouri prohibits transferring a firearm to those under 18 without consent of the minor’s parent or guardian.

These state laws properly place with parents the right and responsibility for determining when a young person is mature enough to safely handle a handgun.

NRA is supporting legislation to bring Iowa law in line with the rest of the country. House File 2281, the Youth Safety & Parental Rights Act, allows those under 21 to possess a handgun while under the direct supervision of a parent, guardian, or spouse, or when receiving instruction. The legislation holds the parent or guardian strictly liable for any damages. It is important to note that under this legislation, Iowa law would still be more restrictive than much of the nation, as persons ages 18-20 would still require supervision in order to possess a handgun. H.F. 2281 was passed by the Iowa House on February 23, and is now being considered by the state Senate.

Unfortunately, from reading accounts in the mainstream press about this simple fix to Iowa law, one might get the impression that the Hawkeye State is about to resemble Lord of the Flies.

Iowa State Rep. Kirsten Running-Marquardt did her part in the fear-mongering campaign with absurd comments reported by Des Moines CBS affiliate KCCI. The news outlet quoted Running-Marquardt as stating, “What this bill does, the bill before us, allows for 1-year-olds, 2-year-olds, 3-year-olds, 4-year-olds to operate handguns. We do not need a militia of toddlers. We do not have handguns that I am aware of that fit the hands of a 1- or 2-year-old.”

Shortly after the bill’s passage in the House, the national anti-gun media felt compelled to weigh in. Syndicated anti-gun columnist Dan K. Thomasson called the legislative fix “insanity” and accused the “gun lobby” of “bringing up baby in the sacred gun culture.” In his rambling hyperbole-filled screed, the writer managed to attack the mundane proposal using ridiculous references to 1930s gangster John Dillinger and “African rebel armies… made up of AK-47 carrying children as young as 9 or 10.” Media outlets have run stories with deliberately misleading headlines, such as “Iowa Lawmakers Approve Bill That Would Let Kids Have Handguns,” and “Iowa Legislature Debates Giving Handguns to Children.” Such stories fail to recognize the prevailing law throughout the country.

The opponents of this legislative fix are hoping that those unfamiliar with firearms law will have a knee-jerk reaction to a salacious headline about kids in Iowa owning handguns. It is up to NRA members to help explain to others how this legislation brings Iowa in accordance with prevailing national standards, and how the gun control movement and a willing media thrive on ignorance.

TRENDING NOW
Bloomberg Dismisses Texas Hero, Insists It Wasn’t His “Job” to Have a Gun or Decide to Shoot

News  

Monday, January 6, 2020

Bloomberg Dismisses Texas Hero, Insists It Wasn’t His “Job” to Have a Gun or Decide to Shoot

Jack Wilson – a 71-year-old congregant of the West Freeway Church of Christ in White Settlement, Tex. – is a hero to most Americans. When a deranged man savagely murdered two of Mr. Wilson’s fellow ...

Wednesday, January 15, 2020

Alert! Florida REPUBLICAN Senators Vote for Massive Gun Control Bill

On Monday, 1/13/20, it happened again.  Senate President Bill Galvano picked a fight with Floridians who believe in the constitutional Right to Keep and Bear Arms. It is well known -- even by the media ...

Virginia: Bill Filed to Eliminate Right-to-Carry Permit Reciprocity!

News  

Tuesday, January 14, 2020

Virginia: Bill Filed to Eliminate Right-to-Carry Permit Reciprocity!

In an unhinged effort to attack Virginians’ Second Amendment rights, one member of the Michael Bloomberg-bought General Assembly is willing to undermine a bipartisan policy advanced by the previous Democratic governor and target one of the state’s ...

Grassroots Ramp Up Continues in the Old Dominion

News  

Friday, January 10, 2020

Grassroots Ramp Up Continues in the Old Dominion

Virginia’s General Assembly officially kicked off on January 8th, and the newly-controlled anti-gun legislative body is wasting no time in pushing its crusade against our gun rights.  Facing a barrage of bills anathema to our ...

Washington: “Gun-Free Zone” Bill on Senate Floor

Wednesday, January 15, 2020

Washington: “Gun-Free Zone” Bill on Senate Floor

On January 13th, the Washington Senate pulled Senate Bill 5434 from the Senate Rules Committee back to the floor, where it can receive a vote at any time. SB 5434 was retained as a carry-over ...

Breaking! Federal Court Finds California Magazine Ban Violates the Second Amendment

News  

Friday, March 29, 2019

Breaking! Federal Court Finds California Magazine Ban Violates the Second Amendment

In one of the strongest judicial statements in favor of the Second Amendment to date, Judge Roger T. Benitez of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California determined on Friday that California’s ...

Virginia: Senate Judiciary Committee* Passes Anti-Gun Bills

Monday, January 13, 2020

Virginia: Senate Judiciary Committee* Passes Anti-Gun Bills

The Virginia Senate Judiciary Committee met today and wasted no time in passing gun control bills as their first order of business.

Virginia: Senate Voting On Anti-Gun Bills Today!

Wednesday, January 15, 2020

Virginia: Senate Voting On Anti-Gun Bills Today!

The anti-gun majority continues to fast track their agenda. On January 16th, the full Virginia Senate will be holding floor votes on the gun control bills that only left committee on Monday.

Virginia: General Assembly Passes Capitol Gun Ban

Friday, January 10, 2020

Virginia: General Assembly Passes Capitol Gun Ban

Days before law-abiding citizens are set to go to Richmond to urge lawmakers to defend their rights, the new anti-gun majority of the Virginia General Assembly has passed an immediate gun ban for the Pocahontas Building and the ...

Washington: Additional Hearing Scheduled on Gun Ban Bills

Thursday, January 16, 2020

Washington: Additional Hearing Scheduled on Gun Ban Bills

On Tuesday, January 21st, at 10AM, the House Civil Rights & Judiciary Committee will consider several anti-gun bills that would severely restrict the Constitutional Rights of law-abiding Washingtonian citizens. This hearing comes just one day ...

MORE TRENDING +
LESS TRENDING -

More Like This From Around The NRA

NRA ILA

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.