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

March 3, 2021

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

Gun Violence Survivors, Moms Demand Action Volunteers are Available for Interviews

The Iowa chapters of Moms Demand Action and Students Demand Action, both part of Everytown for Gun Safety, released the following statement after the Senate Judiciary Committee advanced SSB 1232, a bill which would repeal Iowa’s background check requirement for handgun sales and repeal Iowa’s concealed carry permit requirement. The House Public Safety committee passed the House version, HSB 254, yesterday. SSB 1232 and HSB 254 now head to the full House and Senate for a vote.

“Iowans pride ourselves on our strong tradition of responsible gun ownership and our common-sense permitting and background check laws — this is an extreme effort that nobody but the gun lobby is in favor of,” said Erica Fletcher, a volunteer with Iowa Moms Demand Action. “Lawmakers are trying to push this bill through quickly so their constituents don’t notice how dangerous it is. But we’re watching and fighting this effort to repeal Iowa’s bedrock background check law — the law that helps keep handguns out of the hands of convicted felons, domestic abusers and other people with dangerous histories who we all agree shouldn’t have guns.”

More information on HSB 254 / SSB 1232 is available here:

HSB 254 and SSB 1232 would repeal Iowa’s background check requirement 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 When Missouri repealed its purchase permit law requiring background checks, the state experienced an up to 27 percent increase in its firearm homicide rate. 

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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