After two hours of debate, and nearly six hours of protest, the Iowa House Passed a pair of controversial gun bills. Once the debate began, democrats made it clear they weren’t happy. “When we started session we were told we would focus on the economy and jobs.” said Representative Mary Mascher (D) Johnson County, “We were told we would avoid divisive issues. We were lied to. We were lied to.”
Democrats say they were blindsided by republicans who proposed the bills for debate today without first giving them notice.
“This morning we learned about mid morning that they intended to eliminate all gun laws.” said minority leader Kevin McCarthy, “All gun laws. Regarding the carrying, purchasing, all gun laws not through legislation but through altering the Iowa constitution.”
So democrats walked out and discussed the legislation off the statehouse campus. They returned to debate the bills this evening. One, republicans say, mirrors part of the second amendment of the US Constitution. But democrats say it goes much further– eliminating all gun laws in the state.
“If we try to license those guns to figure out who’s got what those laws are gone.” says Bruce Hunter (D) Polk County, “If they’re challenged. heck you can’t even put a tax on them.”
The second bill deals with what rights Iowans have in defending themselves–the so-called stand your ground law–which does not require those in fear of serious injury or death to retreat.
Both bills passed, mostly along party lines, and now go to the democrat controlled Senate.