Regular readers of this blog know that Iowa is one of only 13 states that doesn’t have a “shall issue” law for permits to carry weapons (or that require no permit at all). Iowa has a “may issue” law, which means that the county sheriff may issue to qualified applicants or he may not.
Some sheriffs issue permits to all who qualify, while others choose not to issue them at all. Training requirements vary widely between counties. This disparity between citizens of different counties seems to run counter to the Iowa Constitution’s directive that state laws “shall have a uniform operation” and shall apply equally to all Iowa citizens.
Since 2005, the pro-freedom group Iowa Carry (IC) has fought a lonely battle trying to bring uniformity to Iowa’s weapons laws, while America’s most powerful lobbying organization, the National Rifle Association (NRA), has focused its attention elsewhere. Now, however, it appears that the NRA may finally have its big political guns trained on Iowa and is ready to roar into action.
In a recent email update to supporters, Iowa Carry president Sean McClanahan announced a tentative agreement between IC and NRA to work together for weapons carry reform in the coming year.
Iowa Carry has identified five key principals that it believes must be part of any weapons carry reform bill in Iowa: 1) It must be “shall issue.” 2) It must standardize training statewide. 3) It must contain a reciprocity provision recognizing the carry permits of certain other states. [Many states will only recognize Iowa-issued permits if we reciprocate.] 4) It must have an appeals process for denied permits. 5) It must maintain the privacy of the confidential information of permit holders.
The bill that NRA and IC will be supporting will address all five issues. The groups are currently lining up key Iowa legislators to introduce and support the bill in 2010.
If you want to stay informed on this effort as it progresses you can join Iowa Carry’s online forum for free, as well as their Facebook group. Better yet, join Iowa Carry as a supporting member for only $25 a year so that they will have the resources necessary for the upcoming reform battle.