Iowa panel OKs bill ending need for permit to buy, carry gun

Then-Iowa Lt. Gov. Kim Reynolds looks past the sight of a .38 caliber revolver while touring Double Barrel Shooters Supply in Missouri Valley on Sept. 21, 2016. Reynolds, now governor, said Tuesday she is monitoring a bill that would eliminate the requirement to obtain a permit to buy or carry a gun in Iowa.

A bill that would eliminate the requirement to obtain a permit to purchase or carry a gun in Iowa has been moved out of an Iowa Senate subcommittee.

Such Legislative attempts are often referred to as “constitutional carry” because of their tie to the Second Amendment’s wording — “A well-regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.

According to The Associated Press, the Iowa proposal has the backing of 15 Senators, the National Rifle Association, the Iowa Firearms Coalition and Iowa gun owners groups who say that requiring permits and fees to own a gun contradicts the constitutional right to keep and bear arms.

It’s opposed by Catholic, Methodist and Episcopal church groups along with domestic violence and gun safety organizations.

A comment last week by Iowa’s own U.S. Rep. Steve King underscores the passions involved in firearms legislation at both the state and national level.

King referred to “unconstitutional restrictions” on the “God-given 2nd Amendment right to bear arms enshrined for all Americans in our constitution” as he voted against a proposed federal law that would increase the allowable period to complete a background check from three to 10 days.

Iowa’s proposed Senate bill mirrors those adopted by other states in that ending the need to obtain a permit to purchase or carry a gun — concealed or unconcealed — would also end the requirement for a background check.

In Oklahoma, newly elected Gov. Kevin Stitt endorsed a constitutional carry plan on the campaign trail and held a signing ceremony last week for legislation that easily carried both the Oklahoma Senate and House.

The Oklahoma bill, which becomes effective Nov. 1, would allow most residents 21 and older to carry concealed or unconcealed firearms without a license, effectively ending the state background check and completion of a training course that were part of the licensing process.

Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds said she favors current state law that requires a permit to purchase or carry a gun. As an Iowa Senator, she voted for the 2010 bill that updated the state’s gun permit process, which includes background checks and requires weapons training for those seeking a permit.

Ending background checks and the requirement to obtain a permit to purchase and carry a firearm would be a step backwards for Iowa. Hopefully Reynolds will stick to her guns and veto any constitutional carry legislation that might reach her desk.

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