No matter which part of Iowa we come from, most of us, including gun owners, support responsible gun safety laws. Common-sense laws, like background checks, can reduce gun violence and improve our safety.
To keep Iowans safe, House Democrats offered a proposal this week to expand background checks and limit access to guns for individuals at an elevated risk of harming themselves or others. Currently, Iowa does not require a state permit to purchase a firearm or background checks for private sales. Permits are also not required to carry firearms, whether openly or concealed.
In contrast, Republican lawmakers in the Iowa House approved a bill this week to allow more guns on school property, on school buses, and the property of community colleges and state universities.
House File 654 allows parents to keep a firearm in their vehicle while on school property when picking up or dropping off their student, and also permits authorized people to keep weapons or ammunition in the school vehicle’s passenger compartment while transporting students. The legislation also allows weapons in parking lots near Iowa universities’ hospitals, dorms, and stadiums. Vehicles could now legally be used to store weapons while tailgating before football games next fall.
Another provision of the bill requires insurance companies to provide liability insurance to schools having firearms on the premises, which will increase property taxes to offset private and public schools’ increased insurance costs.
Iowa House Democrats voted against legislation that allowed guns in schools and eliminating background checks.