Iowa is winding down the racist war on guns with ‘constitutional carry’ law

Iowa is winding down the racist war on guns with ‘constitutional carry’ law

Handguns on display at a 2016 gun show at Hawkeye Downs in Cedar Rapids. (Andy Abeyta/The Gazette) Amid a laundry list of terrible tough-on-crime bills in the Iowa Legislature this year, there is at least one silver lining — a new law making it easier to legally get guns. As of Thursday, Iowans no longer need a permit to carry or acquire handguns, a policy supporters often call “c onstitutional carry. ” That’s a longtime priority of the right-wing 2nd Amendment movement, and it also is shown to have a beneficial impact on racial disproportionality and government spending in the justice system. With the new laxer gun laws, legislative analysts expect the state to see 600 fewer convictions each year and save between $2.2 million and $4.7 million annually in court and corrections costs. It’s the type of smart-on-crime reform Iowa Democrats should support, but chose not to in the House and Senate this year. Under previous law, Black Iowans were convicted of acquiring or carrying a gun without a permit at about 7 times the rate as the total population. That’s similar to the racial disparity found in Iowa’s marijuana arrests, according to ACLU figures last year showing Iowa is the fifth-worst in the nation in over-arresting Black people for pot. Like many gun control regulations, Iowa’s former permitting system was a relic of our racist history, meant to give law enforcement officials control over who’s allowed to have a gun. Even if it’s not what majority Republican […]

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