Today democrats are defending their decision to go into hiding in protest of the bills, and area gun dealers say they’re seeing a spike in sales because of it.
House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, a registered member of the NRA, says he stands by the decision to walk out and still agrees the bills are too controversial even for a gun owner like himself.
“I think their proposal is wackadoodle, okay, its way out, way out, far right, its tea party extreme,” says McCarthy.
House Speaker Kraig Paulsen says he wants to move forward from the walk out, but wasn’t fond of the way Democrats continue to criticize the gun bills.
“I think making fun of gun owners, and people who feel very strongly about their second amendment rights in the state of Iowa, is not only a disservice to Iowans but it’s a disservice to the democratic party,” says Paulsen.
The walkout did little to discourage Republicans; the House approved the two gun bills Wednesday night.
One dealing with the right to bear arms, the other changes Iowa’s current law regarding the right to use reasonable force in self-defense.
Over at the Gun Shoppe, the issue has caused sales to spike.
Owner Mike Sporer sales increased after last years change in the gun permit law. He anticipates another spike in light of the latest legislation.
“We have 100,000 permit holders in Iowa now, it’s doubled since the first of the year. There were a lot of people who wanted to, thought about it and the change in the law kind of brought it up again. A lot of people thought, now’s the time I’m going to take the step and do it,” says Sporer.
Sporer says the provision to be able to defend yourself when confronted by a violent attacker, rather than be forced to retreat is something most gun owners would follow anyway regardless of the law.
“The people that I meet in here are very practical pragmatic people the last thing anybody wants to do is use deadly force, so I think it’s a natural reaction to retreat but sometimes that’s not very practical especially in your home,” says Sporer.
The gun bills will now move to the Democratic controlled Senate.