Washington, D.C. — A new column released today from the Center for American Progress and Progress Iowa warns that Iowa lawmakers’ latest efforts to weaken gun laws will worsen the state’s recent rise in gun violence. From 2019 to 2020, the state saw a 20 percent increase in firearm homicides, and early data from the Iowa Department of Public Health show that gun-related deaths reached an all-time high in 2020, with an estimated 353 people killed. The column follows up on a 2018 report warning that any attempts to weaken the state’s gun laws would threaten Iowa’s relatively low rates of gun violence. Despite these warnings, however, in 2021, Iowa lawmakers reversed two key gun violence prevention measures: 1) the law requiring a permit for every handgun sale, and 2) the law requiring a permit to carry loaded, concealed handguns.
“Particularly as the state recovers from the public health and economic crises resulting from the pandemic, it’s crucial that policymakers in Iowa take the issue of gun violence seriously and resist efforts to further weaken the state’s gun laws,” said Marissa Edmund, senior policy analyst for Gun Violence Prevention at CAP and co-author of the column.
“Iowa lawmakers have a responsibility to ensure the safety of their communities,” added Matt Sinovic, executive director of Progress Iowa and co-author of the column. “Rather than reverse commonsense gun laws and put extreme strict-scrutiny measures on the ballot in 2022, lawmakers should take proactive steps to combat the state’s rising gun violence.”
Click to read the column: “Iowa Lawmakers Must Strengthen Gun Laws To Lower Rising Rates of Violence” by Marissa Edmund and Matt Sinovic
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