Iowa Panel Backs Permitless Carry

AP Photo/Ted S. Warren

I’ve often referred to permitless carry as kind of the Holy Grail of gun rights restoration. Americans used to be able to carry guns without asking permission from anyone. Then laws got passed and everything went to hell.

Yet if a state passes permitless carry, there’s a damn good chance they’re going to be good on gun rights in pretty much every other way. It’s the ideal state of being when it comes to Second Amendment rights.

Now, Iowa is one step closer to doing just that.

DES MOINES — Legislation to ease some gun restrictions and make Iowa the 19th state to adopt a permit-less constitutional carry approach drew cheers Monday from advocates as striking a blow for freedom, while critics called it an effort to unravel Iowa’s gun safety laws.

 

House Study Bill 254, which cleared a House Public Safety subcommittee by a 2-1 vote, would eliminate the need for Iowans age 21 or older to obtain a government permit to acquire or carry a firearm.

 

Other provisions would allow law enforcement and reserve officers to carry firearms on school grounds regardless of whether they were on duty; bar landlords of government-assisted housing from banning firearms; and create a Department of Public Safety database of state-approved organizations to train Iowa seeking to carry a handgun.

“We’re not plotting new ground here,” said subcommittee chairman Rep. Steve Holt, R-Denison. “This is not some revolutionary thing here. Eighteen states already have constitutional carry or permit-less carry.”

Holt is correct. This isn’t new ground by any stretch of the imagination. Plenty of other states have gone down this path.

Guess what, though? None of those states have seen the streets run red with blood or any other such nonsense. While they’ve all seen an increase in violent crime over the last year, so has everyone else.

In other words, permitless carry has shaped up to be a non-issue. There haven’t been the tons of problems opponents of such measures seem to believe there will be.

Honestly, it’s time. It’s time for Iowa and a lot of other states to embrace permitless carry, especially in light of the pandemic which shut down issuing offices all over the nation. It became clear that we can’t always trust our government to be willing or able to issue permits, even in shall-issue states. Permitless carry removes this burden from issuing authorities.

Instead, let’s treat law-abiding citizens as law-abiding citizens and get out of their way when they want to exercise a constitutionally-protected right like carrying a firearm. It’s the right to keep and bear arms. Having to get permission–and that’s what a permit is, even if it’s shall-issue–isn’t respecting that right at all.

Iowa is making a good move. There are a lot of other states that need to step up and follow Iowa on this. Yes, I’m looking at you, Georgia, but my home state is far from alone on this one.

While I don’t expect anti-gun states to care, there are a lot of other states that should have already done this who simply haven’t. That’s a shame.

 

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