A bill yanking the ability of Iowa sheriffs from having nearly unlimited authority to deny permits to carry a gun was approved this afternoon by the House.
But opponents aggressively argued that the law would make Iowa less safe.
One of the key pieces of debate today centered around the issue of reciprocity. Iowa’s public safety commissioner would have compared laws in other states with Iowa’s before that state’s gun permits would be recognized in Iowa. The commissioner would have been in charge of obtaining agreements with each state that meet or exceed Iowa’s concealed weapons laws.
But instead, under a provision approved by the Senate, valid permits issued to nonresidents by other states would be valid in Iowa without the commissioner’s review.
Opponents argued that laws in other states may be so weak that virtually any person – regardless of their possible criminal histories – could be eligible to carry a gun.
These are two losing propositions. The "shall issue" regulation appeals to gun rights advocates, but why? Do they resent the authority of local police so much? Can't they see that under "may issue" many would-be criminals, delinquents, alcoholics, drug addicts and others unfit for responsible gun ownership, who are known to the police but haven't been convicted of a felony yet, would be prevented from carrying a gun in public? How can the benefit of that be traded away for the convenience of "shall issue." This is one place where the responsible gun owners inextricably associate themselves with the criminals, or I should say the future criminals, all those who will benefit from this law.
The reciprocity law is bad news in a similar way. People from places like Alaska and Arizona, whose laws are even more lax than Iowa's, and allow even more unfit people to carry concealed guns, will continue to enjoy their gun rights when visiting or travelling through the Hawkeye State.
But, "formula for disaster" and "blood in the streets," may be a bit strong to describe the problem. What do you think? Time will tell, eh?
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