DES MOINES, Iowa. – The Iowa chapter of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, a part of Everytown for Gun Safety, applauded the introduction of extreme risk legislation that would empower law enforcement officers to ask a court to temporarily block a person’s access to guns if there is evidence that they pose a threat to themself or others. Iowa House Minority Whip Jo Oldson (D-Des Moines) and Iowa State Representative Kristin Sunde (D-West Des Moines) announced the bill during a press conference with Iowa Moms Demand Action volunteers, who held an advocacy day at the State Capitol on Tuesday.
“Not only do extreme risk laws save lives – they also have the support of the majority of Iowans,” said Traci Kennedy, a volunteer with the Iowa chapter of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America. “As a gun owner myself, I can tell you it is possible to put an end to this gun violence and protect responsible gun owners’ right to own a gun. This bill is a vital step forward, and I’m grateful to the lawmakers with us today.”
In the last decade, gun deaths have increased 24 percent in Iowa. Extreme risk laws are one of the most powerful tools for preventing mass shootings, school shootings, and gun suicides by creating a way to act before warning signs escalate into tragedies. Extreme risk laws are particularly effective in preventing gun suicide. On average, 212 people in Iowa die by gun suicide every year—equalling 80 percent of all gun deaths in the state.
New state polling shows that 75 percent of Iowans support extreme risk laws and showed Iowa voters generally support stronger gun safety laws by a 3:1 margin. To date, 17 states, including neighboring Illinois, and the District of Columbia have enacted extreme risk laws.
This week, Everytown for Gun Safety Action Fund launched a $250,000 digital ad campaign to call on Iowa legislators to pass an extreme risk bill, and unveiled Iowa polling which found three quarters of Iowans support passage of such a bill.
More statistics about gun violence in Iowa are available here, and information on how Iowa’s gun laws compare to other states overall is available here.