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Moms Demand Action Responds After Iowa House Advances Legislation to Put More Guns In Public Buildings and Punish Local Officials Who Act on Gun Safety

February 28, 2020

The Iowa chapter of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, part of Everytown for Gun Safety, today released the following statement after the Iowa State House passed HF 2502, legislation that would harshly punish local elected officials for taking action on gun violence and effectively force guns into public buildings. In the meantime, lawmakers have refused to consider HF 2367, extreme risk legislation, and let a key committee deadline pass.

“Instead of moving forward on life-saving extreme risk legislation that Iowans are demanding, House leadership forced through a bill that would roll back Iowa’s current gun safety laws and further punish local elected officials who try to take action to address gun violence in their communities,” said Erica Fletcher, a volunteer with the Iowa chapter of Moms Demand Action. “They are taking Iowa backwards, and voters will remember this in November.”

HF 2502 is dangerous legislation that would significantly broaden the state’s existing firearms preemption law, including by subjecting local officials who enact gun safety policies to the possibility of paying damages and attorneys fees; effectively forcing public buildings to allow people to carry hidden, loaded handguns inside; and preventing localities from enacting ordinances requiring Iowans to store their firearms responsibly.

The committee passage comes only days after the Iowa House allowed a key deadline to pass without giving HF 2367, a potentially life-saving extreme risk bill, a committee hearing this session. Extreme risk laws are one of the most powerful tools for preventing mass shootings, school shootings, and especially gun suicides by creating a way to act before warning signs escalate into tragedies. In Iowa, there are an average of 264 gun deaths every year – 80 percent of these deaths are by gun suicide.  

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.

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