DES MOINES, Iowa — State Senator Joe Bolkcom, an Iowa City Democrat, can’t predict whether a wide-ranging bill to change guns laws will pass. But he is working with anti-gun violence organization to make sure Iowans understand the impact of the gun law changes.
“Allow guns to end up in the wrong hands,” Bolkcom said, expressing his concerns during a news conference at the Iowa Statehouse Monday morning.
Gun laws split political parties, which makes it more difficult to determine whether the gun law package passed in the Republican-led house can make it through the narrowly Democratic-held senate. The house version enjoyed widespread support with 75 of the 100 members voting for it.
Iowans for Gun Safety joined Bolkcom to grow opposition to the gun law legislation.
–Children under the age of 14 could use a handgun with adult supervision.
–The state would essentially eliminate the 72-hour mandatory waiting period for background checks for handguns.
–No longer require gun permit holders’ information be made public.
Supporters, like Rep. Matt Windschitl, a Missouri Valley Republican, said he believes the legislation would make people undergo more background checks, not fewer, as a result of the changes. He argues that potential buyers would have to get a background check every time they try to buy a firearm from a licensed dealer. And that could make them get more checks than if they kept having to renew their permit annually.
He also disagrees that the changes would get more guns into criminals’ hands. Windschitl is committed to protecting constitutional rights and doesn’t think those who follow the law should get punished because of worries criminals could somehow get more access to weapons.