Lawmakers have another opportunity to pass common-sense gun safety legislation in the new year as Iowa’s session begins on Monday. Lawmakers should listen to the majority of Iowans who support stronger gun laws by prioritizing common-sense gun bills, like life-saving extreme risk protection order legislation, and reject dangerous efforts to roll back gun safety laws.
More than 250 Iowans die every year from gun violence, but instead of taking action on common-sense gun safety measures that save lives, Republican leadership in the legislature have used past legislative sessions to roll back gun safety laws.
This session, lawmakers should take this opportunity to pass common-sense policy like an extreme risk bill, which would empower loved ones or law enforcement officers to intervene to temporarily prevent a person in crisis from accessing firearms. Extreme risk laws have been proven to save lives and have overwhelming public support. Extreme risk laws have also been proven to be an effective way to prevent gun suicide – which makes up 80 percent of the gun deaths in Iowa. Already, 17 states and DC have enacted and benefited from extreme risk laws, or red flag laws, including the nearby states of Illinois, Indiana and Colorado.
What to know about gun violence in Iowa:
- 264 people are shot and killed with a gun every year. The rate of gun deaths in Iowa increased 24% in the last decade, compared to a 17% increase nationwide.
- An average of 212 people in Iowa die by gun suicide every year—a rate of 6.5 suicides per 100,000 people. In Iowa, 80% of all gun deaths in Iowa are suicides compared to 61% nationwide.
- Firearms are the second leading cause of death for children and teens. In Iowa, an average of 23 children and teens die by guns every year, and 65% of these deaths are suicide. Black children and teens in Iowa are 3 times as likely as their white peers to die by guns.
For more information: 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.
If you have any questions or would like to speak with a volunteer with Iowa Moms Demand Action or Students Demand Action chapter, please do not hesitate to reach out.