The Iowa chapters of Moms Demand Action and Students Demand Action, both part of Everytown for Gun Safety’s grassroots network, released the following statement after the Iowa House Public Safety Committee advanced HSB 646, a bill to allow individuals to travel Iowa’s public streets with loaded, unsecured firearms. Iowa’s current law requires that firearms be unloaded and secure when in a car. HSB 646 would dismantle these common sense and simple protections, and could increase the incidence of road rage shootings in Iowa. HSB646 is now eligible for a floor vote in the Iowa House of Representatives.
“To be clear – this bill would allow people to travel across our state with loaded, unsecured firearms sitting next to them in their cars at a time that road rage shootings are on the rise,” said Traci Kennedy, Chapter Leader of the Iowa chapter of Moms Demand Action. “We’ve all experienced road rage and a tense situation while driving, but when a gun is added to the mix, it can become deadly. There is zero reason to dismantle this common sense public safety measure. Our lawmakers should prioritize gun violence prevention efforts that would actually protect our communities, not bills that would dismantle the few protections we have left.”
Across the country, the number of road rage injuries and deaths have been steadily increasing every year since 2018. In 2016-2019, roughly one-third of road rage incidents involving a gun resulted in injury or death and that number increased to over half from 2020-2021. Last year, a person was shot and either injured or killed in a road rage incident, on average, every 20 hours. Allowing people to keep loaded, unsecured firearms in their vehicles would enable incidents of road rage shootings, and place Iowans in danger.
Everytown’s interactive gun law platform — which shows the direct correlation between the strength of a state’s gun laws and its rate of gun deaths — is available here. The tool shows that Iowa scores 14.5 out of 100 for gun law strength.
Learn more about gun violence in Iowa here.