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Funnel week isn’t just a time for good bills to advance, it also ends the chance of bad policy becoming law. The Public Safety Committee killed a significant number of bills that were all designed to curtail freedom from Iowans. None of these bills advanced, even to the subcommittee level. Below is a list of several bills that are officially done for the year:

House File 32-May Issue Carry Permits Over 10 years ago both parties changed Iowa to a “shall issue” state for weapons permits. This means unless there is a legal reason to deny a person a weapons permit, it shall be issued. However, now several Representatives want to go back on that law change and make it more difficult for law-abiding Iowans to have firearms by making a “may issue” state and allowing a sheriff to deny a weapon permit at their discretion with no legal reasoning.

House File 65 -Large Capacity Ammunition Devices HF 65 criminalizes a majority of Iowans for owning a magazine that can accept more than 10 rounds of ammunition. Anyone who sells, transfers, or possesses these devices would be charged with an aggravated misdemeanor and have their devices confiscated. The bill takes effect upon enactment and provides no opportunity for owners to turn in their magazine. There are no exceptions in the bill for law enforcement.

House File 125- Prohibiting the sale or transfer of semiautomatic assault weapons. HF 125 defines certain firearms as semiautomatic assault weapons based on what the weapon looks like. Some things that might make your firearm a “semiautomatic assault weapon” according to this bill include:

• Pistol grips • Threaded barrel (for legal suppressors), • Folding telescoping or detachable stocks • Shroud attached to the barrel (rails)

The bill goes on to list many cosmetic features of rifles, pistols and shotguns that would qualify them as “semiautomatic assault weapons.” Because this style of weapon is not defined in code, it would be difficult for law-abiding gun owners to know if their weapon falls into this category. A person who sells or transfers any of these weapons would be guilty of a class “D” felony on a first offense and a class “C” felony for the second or subsequent offense. This bill would deliberately treat law-abiding gun owners worse than many sex offenders and child molesters, tagging them with prison time up to 10 years and a fine up to $10,000.

Author: Jon Thorup