Amid gun-safety push, Senate panel clears way for weapons on school grounds

Amid gun-safety push, Senate panel clears way for weapons on school grounds

Gun Rights

DES MOINES — Iowans seeking to end gun violence came to the Capitol on Monday to press for gun safety laws while gun-rights proponents pressed ahead with proposals to allow more situations where Iowans with proper permits could carry their weapons legally. A coalition of organizations pushed for what they called “common-sense” gun laws and spoke against efforts to amend language in the Iowa Constitution to specify Iowans’ right to own a gun and add heightened legal protection to that right. Backers say the “strict scrutiny” language is a protection against future attempts by lawmakers to place restrictions on the right to own a gun. Connie Ryan, executive director of the Interfaith Alliance of Iowa and a member of the We Can End Gun Violence Iowa coalition, said she is concerned the strict scrutiny provision would “bend the arc in a direction” that would change the state’s path and eventually harm children and communities. “We’re here to say we can end gun violence in Iowa,” Ryan told a Statehouse news conference where coalition members supported background checks, raising the gun possession age to 21, and banning things such as assault-style weapons and bump stocks. Meanwhile, the Senate Judiciary Committee voted 10-3 Monday to allow Iowans with gun permits to carry a weapon onto school grounds. Committee chairman Sen. Brad Zaun, R-Urbandale, said the goal is to strengthen people’s rights after a period when Second Amendment rights were weakened. As for the proposed change to the constitution, he noted it […]

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