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SHERIFF CONCERNED: Sex Offenders Can Have Gun Permits

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A state law passed two years ago makes it harder for Iowa’s sheriffs to deny gun permits.

A Des Moines Register report shows that the law has made it easier for sex offenders to have guns. The Register found more than 50 sex offenders have permits to carry guns in public.

It’s something that has some of Iowa’s top officers worried, “My concern of a sex offender having a gun is they try to typically rule in a bullish way to influence people — and just the presence of a gun on a hip could be a threat to get people to cooperate,” Washington County Sheriff Jerry Dunbar told the Register. He is president of the Iowa State Sheriffs’ & Deputies’ Association.

Most of the sex offenders with gun permits were convicted of misdemeanor crimes such as lascivious conduct with a minor but three men were convicted of felony sex crimes. Since the report, two have had their licenses revoked.

The report points out that less than one percent of the state’s sex offenders used guns in their crimes.

The law passed does not change who can obtain a gun based on their prior crimes, it only gives the sheriffs less power to deny a weapons permit.