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Iowa Moms Demand Action Statement on Iowa House Passing Bill to Repeal Background Checks on Handgun Sales

March 18, 2021

The Bill would also Repeal Iowa’s Permit Requirement for Carrying a Concealed Handgun in Public

The Iowa chapters of Moms Demand Action and Students Demand Action, both part of Everytown for Gun Safety, released the following statement after the state House of Representatives passed House File 756, a bill which would repeal Iowa’s background check requirement for unlicensed handgun sales and repeal Iowa’s permit requirement for carrying a concealed handgun in public.

“Everything about this bill goes against what Iowans want and what we stand for. The polling speaks for itself — the vast majority of us, gun owners included, support background checks and other common-sense public safety laws,” said Katie Albrecht, a volunteer with Iowa Moms Demand Action. “Lawmakers continue to mislead the public about what this bill would do but the fact is, this bill would repeal the laws that help keep handguns out of the hands of convicted felons, domestic abusers and other people with dangerous histories who can’t legally have guns. Lawmakers voted to put our communities in danger today.”

Polls have found that the policies these bills would repeal are extraordinarily popular among Iowa voters, gun owners included. One poll showed 85 percent of voters support requiring a permit to carry a concealed gun in public places, and 81 percent support requiring background checks on all gun sales. PolitiFact confirmed Iowan’s stance on gun safety in their own data analysis and found that “a majority of Iowans and Americans support background checks for gun buyers.” 

More information on SF 535 and HF 756 is available here:

SF 535 and HF 756 would repeal Iowa’s background check requirement on unlicensed handgun sales and make it easy for felons, domestic abusers, and those prohibited based on mental illness to buy handguns in Iowa. Twenty-two states, including Iowa, and the District of Columbia have laws requiring a person to pass a criminal background check before buying a handgun from an unlicensed seller. State laws requiring background checks for all handgun sales are associated with lower firearm homicide rates, lower firearm suicide rates, and lower rates of firearm trafficking. When Missouri repealed its purchase permit law requiring background checks, the state experienced an up to 27 percent increase in its firearm homicide rate. Since 1998, nearly 14,000 firearm sales to prohibited purchasers have been denied in Iowa – including nearly 6,000 illegal sales to convicted felons and over 3,000 illegal sales to prohibited domestic abusers. 

The bill would also make it legal for people—including certain criminals—to carry hidden, loaded handguns in public in Iowa without a permit or safety training. In the vast majority of states, including Iowa, a person must acquire a permit in order to legally carry a concealed handgun in public. These laws ensure that certain core public safety standards are preserved when people carry concealed handguns in public places.

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