Iowa Passes Constitutional Carry

On April 2, 2021, Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds signed House File 756 into law, which gets rid of the licensing requirement imposed on lawful Iowans when they want to carry a handgun. 

In a statement that Reynolds released, she declared that HF 756, “protects the Second Amendment rights of Iowa’s law-abiding citizens while still preventing the sale of firearms to criminals and other dangerous individuals.”

In signing the law, Iowa became the 19th Constitutional Carry state. State Representative Steve Holt described the previous restriction on Iowans’ right to bear arms as a “permission slip from the government.”

The bill was passed on strict party lines. Senate Minority Leader Zach Wahls went on social media to criticize the move: “Gov. Reynolds has caved in to the most radical elements of her party.”

Iowa Democratic Party Chairman Ross Wilburn was livid about Reynolds’ signing of HF 756 and declared that Reynolds demonstrated a “reckless disregard for the safety and well-being of Iowans” by approving this bill. “Background checks are wildly popular, even among gun owners, as a common-sense way to keep people safe,” Wilburn commented. “Legislation like this serves no purpose other than appeasing the gun industry and its powerful lobbyists.”

As for Republicans in Iowa, they had nothing but effusive praise for the bill’s signing into law. Republican Party of Iowa Chairman Jeff Kaufmann tweeted:

Despite the misinformation pushed by Democrats and coastal interest groups, today is a great day for law-abiding gun owners of this state.

He added that HF 756 makes it harder for criminals to acquire firearms “while strengthening Second Amendment rights for law-abiding citizens of this state.”

There were some fears that Reynolds would veto the legislation. After the 2018 Parkland massacre, Reynold stated that Iowa had “reasonable and responsible gun laws on the books.” She also was in support of maintaining the state’s current permitting regulations and even said that the federal government should bolster federal background checks.

According to James Q. Lynch of The Gazette, Reynolds did not support “constitutional carry” legislation, reiterating that background checks and permits were “the right thing to do.”

Passing Constitutional Carry will undoubtedly improve Iowa’s gun policies, which have currently landed the state in a sub-par 34th place according to Guns & Ammo magazine. With 19 Constitutional Carry states, America is perhaps on the cusp of seeing the most successful grassroots movement in recent memory. It is no exaggeration to say that nearly all red states will have Constitutional Carry as law by 2030.

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