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 Senate Labor and Business Relations Committee today voted to advance Senate File 2143, a bill that would prevent business owners from keeping themselves and their property safe from guns as they see fit and force businesses to allow guns in cars on their property. The Iowa Association of Business and Industry joined Moms Demand Action volunteers in opposing SF2143 in a recent subcommittee hearing. The bill is now eligible for a vote of the full Iowa Senate.
“It’s frustrating that our lawmakers would continue to advance a bill that would tie the hands of private property owners and strip away a simple, effective public safety measure when businesses themselves have expressed how dangerous this bill would be,” said Traci Kennedy, Chapter Leader of the Iowa chapter of Moms Demand Action. “Instead of pushing policies that erode our gun safety laws, our lawmakers should be taking action to keep our communities safe from gun violence.”
SF2143 would tie the hands of business owners in Iowa, overriding property owners’ concerns and legitimate reasons for employers to choose not to have firearms stored on their property, including the risk of guns being stolen from cars. Cars are one of the most popular targets for firearms thieves. Research suggests that nearly one-quarter of stolen guns are taken from cars and other vehicles. The number of guns stolen from cars nearly doubled between 2006 and 2015, with several cities experiencing more than threefold increases. Forcing private business owners or employers to allow guns to be stored in vehicles in their parking lots risks making these cars attractive targets for thieves.
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.
More information about gun violence in Iowa is available here.