The Iowa Firearms Coalition has done a great deal of planning, and all of the hard work for the rights of gun owners in Iowa is going to pay off… hopefully.
“We plan to legalize suppressors and fix many issues that have plagued Iowa’s firearms owners for years.”
Representative Matt Windchitl, a stalwart supporter of Iowa’s firearms community, will soon introduce a wide-ranging omnibus firearms bill. Windschitl made the announcement in his latest legislative newsletter. Building off last year’s landslide of support for legalizing suppressors, the bill addresses suppressors and many other issues the Iowa Firearms Coalition has raised over the last several years.
According to Windschitl the bill:
-Legalizes suppressors and creates a process for a chief law enforcement officer to sign off on the paper work a citizen needs to purchase a suppressor. This is a federal requirement and just one step in the process to obtain a suppressor.
-Corrects the renewal process and extends the time a person can go without retraining from 5 years to 10 years. So a permit will last for 5 years, but you can renew it without retraining on your first renewal.
-Creates a simplified method of obtaining retraining after this 10 year window by allowing the retraining to be a simple online course approved by the NRA or Department of Public Safety. It also allows for a person to shoot on a range for their qualification if they so choose or to take a full course like they did for their first permit.
-Specifically exempts veterans with small arms training from ever having to go through initial training or retraining if they can produce their military qualifications at the time of application.
-Lengthens the window in which you can renew your permit from the current 30 days prior to expiration requirement, to now allowing you to renew 30 days before or after the expiration date on the permit.
-Clarifies that when an applicant takes online training that it is done with either a live instructor teaching a course, or that an instructor has taught a prerecorded course. In either case the applicants participation must be verified by an instructor.
-Eliminates the annual permit to acquire and makes this an optional permit to acquire firearms that will now be good for 5 years instead of 1 year.
-Establishes permit privacy so the information you submit to obtain your permit will no longer be subject to public information requests. Your personally identifiable information will only be able to be released to law enforcement when necessary in the course of their duties. This protects not only permit holders, but also none permit holders as it will prevent someone with criminal intentions from being able to readily identify who may or may not have a weapon.
-Eliminates the absurd law that bans parents from being able to teach their children under fourteen how to shoot a pistol or revolver. Under current law if a parent wants to teach their child to shoot a rifle or shotgun they can, but they cannot teach a child under fourteen how to use a pistol or revolver. This change will put the responsibility to make the decision of when a child should be taught firearm safety back where it belongs, in the parents hands.
-Establishes a statewide verification system law enforcement can use to check the validity of a permit. This is good for both law enforcement and those Iowans who exercise their right to carry a weapon. Currently if you were to forget your permit and be stopped by law enforcement they would have to seize your weapon and potentially charge you for carrying without a permit. With the system they will be able to verify if you have a valid permit and not take your weapon away. Having this system may also help us to gain reciprocity with other states like Minnesota. Do not be alarmed though, this is not a gun registry or database of firearm owners. The system will only contain information that verifies if a permit is valid or not. It will not include information on specific weapons or people who simply own weapons but do not have a permit.
-Will create uniform permits throughout the state that will only have necessary information listed on the permit card. This will apply to both a permit to carry and the now optional permit to acquire. We specifically strike the requirement to have a person’s residence listed on the permit card as there is no need for this information on a permit. Uniformity in permits will not only be a benefit to law enforcement but also the public and firearm stores.
-Outlaws the practice commonly referred to by law enforcement as a “straw purchase”, where someone who is prohibited from having a firearm obtains one by having another person purchase a firearm for them. Federal law already has similar prohibitions, but state law is not as clear as it needs to be on the topic.
The Clock Is Ticking
During Iowa’s legislative process a bill must meet certain deadlines. The first of these deadlines is Friday March 6th (sometimes called the first funnel). This is when all bills must be passed out of the committees they’ve been assigned. We’ve created a page explaining How a Bill Becomes a Law in Iowa.
“As soon as this bill is introduced the Iowa Firearms Coalition will be spreading the message. We have just a few short days to get this bill passed out of committee before the first funnel. It’s a big task, but we’ve been preparing for this for months, and thanks to the groundwork our lobbyists have been laying we’re confident we can get past this first hurdle IF we can show strong grassroots support from across the state.”
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