Mar 25, 2021 - Politics

Iowa governor considers bill to allow gun purchases without a permit

Guns for sale at a gun store in Iowa in 2016. Photo: Luke Sharrett/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds declined to say if she plans on signing a bill that would allow Iowans to buy and carry concealed handguns without a permit.

"We'll do a thorough evaluation as I always have," Reynolds said during her press conference Wednesday.

The state of play: Potential gun owners must pass a background check before obtaining a permit through their county sheriff's office, according to Iowa Public Radio.

  • By making permits optional, the bill removes mandated background checks for private gun sales.
  • But the bill creates a new felony charge: You can't sell a gun to someone you know wouldn’t pass a background check, Republicans argue.

The other side: Democrats have rejected that argument, however, saying the bill creates a loophole in background checks, since an unlicensed seller could easily argue they didn't know a buyer's criminal history.

What's next: Reynolds said she's waiting to receive the final draft of the bill before deciding to sign or veto it.

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