Republican Iowa Governor Argues Against Gun Rights Bill

The NRA supports it, why doesn't she?

drawing of iowa state on chalkboard, drawn by chalk

What’s going on when the NRA supports a gun rights bill but a city’s Republican governor doesn’t? Pleasant Hill, Iowa governor Sara Kurovski argued on February 27 at the Iowa statehouse against a gun rights bill that is making its way through the Iowa house.

What’s going on is that the public rose up against the bill, causing the bill’s sponsor to remove some of the language in the bill that caused the problem. Mayor Kurovski is a registered Republican who also happens to have a concealed carry license.

She’s objecting because the bill eliminates the permits that are required to open carry. She says, “Open carry creates a more intimidating environment and it makes it harder for law enforcement to investigate a scene.”

If a lot of people are open carrying at a crime scene, the officers may not be able to tell who the shooter is. While we can see that side of the argument, it is not valid in our opinion. A shooter will not be acting “normally.” A law-abiding person who happens to be at a crime scene who also happens to be open carrying will not be acting like a shooter. I believe that a trained officer will be able to tell the difference between the “crowds” of open carriers who just happen to be milling around a crime scene and a person who is actually a criminal.

the other thing Mayor Kurovski doesn’t like is that the bill makes permits not required to carry, either concealed or openly. Without permits, Iowa safety officials will not be required to do background checks, which means theoretically, that “anyone” could get a gun. The bill also gives Iowans expanded “stand your ground” protections for situations in which they use violence to defend their property.

The bill’s sponsor Republican Representative Matt Windschitl from Missouri Valley, dismissed safety complaints by saying, “Iowans are responsible people.” He fielded so many complaints from the public, though, that he scaled the bill back so that colleges and universities can no longer ban weapons on campus. To clarify, his bill would have PREVENTED colleges and universities from banning guns. Now the bill doesn’t have that language, so colleges and universities CAN potentially ban guns.

He says, though, that he still believes that adults who are attending colleges and universities have a right to carry their firearms. The legislators will be talking about whether or not to move the bill through over the next few days.