Iowa House Passes Mixed Bag Omnibus Firearms Bill

On Tuesday, the Iowa House overwhelmingly, and without debate passed House File (yes, file) 527, a sweeping omnibus bill on firearms. Residents of the Hawkeye state should be aware that the bill, among other things:

(1) mandates the creation of a database for all permit holders that can be accessed by:

– law enforcement, for purposes of investigation of a crime,
– verification of professional permits for employment purposes,
– public access to anonymized statistical/demographic information

(2) requires that the data relating to permit holders be kept confidential,

(3) legalizes possession of suppressors . . .

(4) allows Iowans with a concealed carry permit to bypass the requirement to obtain a separate permit for purchasing firearms,

(5) requires chief law enforcement officers to sign off on NFA certifications for suppressors within 30 days if the applicant is not otherwise prohibited by law from possessing one,

(6) allows children younger than 14 to possess handguns with adult supervision,

(7) allows an applicant denied a carry permit or a chief law enforcement officer sign-off on transfer of a suppressor to be awarded court costs and reasonable attorney fees if the denial is overturned in court.

(8) allows anyone with a ‘professional’ permit to carry a weapon on school grounds,

(9) makes it a class “D” felony (with a maximum prison term of 5 years) to engage in a straw purchase,

(10) changes the law so that persons carrying a firearm must have their permit in their immediate possession, stating that permit holders “shall produce the permit for inspection at the request of a peace officer.” Permit holders who fail to comply are subject to a $10 (ten) dollar fine.

The bill also streamlines the permit application process with a few tweaks to timeframes and such.

There are several good things in the bill. It’s great that silencers are being legalized, and giving wrongly-denied permit applicants the opportunity to collect attorneys fees is a solid idea. Bureaucracies tend to pay more attention to the law when their own money is at stake.

Also, as I mentioned earlier, I’m a strong supporter of data privacy laws in general and believe that laws like these are increasingly necessary, especially for personal information related to firearms. Those opposed to the civil right to keep and bear arms have found it expedient to violate the privacy of many Americans in their twisted crusade to disarm civilians. The number of firearms I may or may not own (as well as whether or not I happen to carry one at any given moment) is no one’s business but my own, and it’s good to see the folks in Des Moines willing to protect the privacy of their constituents.

And yet…

The data privacy protections in this law wouldn’t be necessary if the law didn’t simultaneously create a database of law-abiding citizens with firearms licenses. And the database wouldn’t be necessary if Iowans weren’t required to get a license to exercise their constitutionally-protected civil right to keep and bear arms in the first place. Government…the cause of, and solution to, all of our problems.

To be fair, the NRA-ILA optimistically thinks that the database provision will help Iowa get reciprocity with other states. I suppose that’s something although, as we in Pennsylvania have learned, the reciprocity game can often be personality-driven.

But let’s not have the above-average be the enemy of the good enough. It’s hardly perfect, but it seems like the bill takes a step or two forward on some issues, while doing a bit of marking time and side-stepping on others. Overall, Iowans will be better off with it.

Now it’s on to the Iowa Senate, where it’s being considered under the moniker Senate File 425.

[h/t Iowa Firearms Coalition]

comments

  1. avatar Hannibal says:

    Looks like a pretty good win on the whole.

    “Permit holders who fail to comply are subject to a $10 (ten) dollar fine.”
    Heh… okay.

    1. avatar KMc says:

      My local Rep. called and was very pleased and thought the Senate would pass a decent version as well.
      We Iowans can hope!

  2. avatar ropingdown says:

    It’s a good start. Thanks for the clear report. Slow and steady wins the race in growing law, no? (Yes, that gem wasn’t on the bar exam.)

  3. avatar Paul G says:

    Reciprocity wouldn’t be an issue if constitutionally enumerated rights were actually respected.

    1. avatar Jandrews says:

      Bingo. You don’t need reciprocity when you don’t need a permit *anywhere*, which is how it should be.

  4. avatar Gov. William J. Le Petomane says:

    (4) is already law in Iowa and only applies to handguns. No permit is needed to buy long guns.

    (10) also already exists, except currently if you’re caught with a weapon and without your permit you are required to show up in court and I’d be pretty surprised if that didn’t involve paying court costs. This way the cops can look you up, write the ticket, and send you on your way. The database might also keep you from spending a couple of nights in a jail in Alabama, so I won’t complain.

    Iowa honors every other state’s permits, but there are about 20 states that are being total pricks, so if it expands the states I can travel to, that’s cool.

    The IA senate is split 50/50 and the Gov. is a RINO, but it was actually the Dems who passed ‘shall issue’ and this seems to be enough of a mixed bag to get through.

    1. avatar Curtis in IL says:

      “there are about 20 states that are being total pricks,”
      Illinois, right next door, is one of those total prick states, unfortunately. With an Illinois permit I can carry in at least 20 other states including Iowa, but it doesn’t work the other way.

      And I don’t think there’s any legislation that Iowa can pass that would change that. Perhaps in a few years, after the Chicago statists are done wetting their shorts over concealed carry, we might be able to have some intelligent discussions in Springfield.

      1. avatar Gov. William J. Le Petomane says:

        Well, I didn’t want to mention any names, but yes the initials IL and MN do come to mind. I kind of expect that from New Jersey, but it’s kind of pathetic when your neighbors treat you like that.

  5. avatar Ralph says:

    Bureaucracies tend to pay more attention to the law when their own money is at stake.

    Their own money is NEVER at stake. It’s taxpayer money that’s at stake, and bureaucrats couldn’t care less about our money.

    1. avatar Gov. William J. Le Petomane says:

      Bureaucracies don’t care, but we could make Bureaucrats care with a simple thing called ‘wage garnishment’.

      1. avatar Another Robert says:

        You’ve got to find the wage-earning bureaucrat personally liable first, which is part (actually the main part) of the problem. The agency may be found liable, but the individual employees, almost always, are protected from individual personal liability.

        1. avatar LarryinTX says:

          An example; we still don’t know who told the CIA agents in Benghazi to “stand down”. We’ve even been told it did not happen. You will NEVER find/identify a bureaucrat in order to sue him/her.

  6. avatar foo dog says:

    I’m good with all of this, especially the hearing conservation benefits of the firearm sound reducers.

    With respect, the notion we have data privacy has been debunked by revelations on NSA data gathering en masse, illegal sharing by law enforcement for parallel construction at local cop level, joint fusion center egregious violations of laws and policy, as mendacious sniggering over private medical file history of celebrities, use of spying assets to track spouses and lovers, or do unofficial background checks, vehicle bugging, Stingray ground and airborne cell capture, and thats just what we know about…

    Add the various corporate, and civilian industrial espionage, plus script kiddie hacker tools on up to sophisticated MITM intercepts, honeypots, and leo monitoring of various suspect sites as innocuos as local gun enthusiast forums, and well…you might as well stop using your cell phone, internet, and credit cards, if y’all j are serious about privacy.

    Not to mention illegal fedgov monitoring of journalists, and jailing for refusal to identify sources.
    Its 1984, and worse. Better we get some rights to lawful carry, while we can, at the state level.

    This is just de facto registration, one step af a time, but then if you are visitinv hrre, you are being tagged and all rythms running on purchases, permits, backgrojnd checks, etc anyway. Even if the states cant figure it out, the Nudge Team knows….

    1. avatar LarryinTX says:

      I bet all the residents are glad they sold all their firearms at that gun show in Texas last year.

  7. avatar Gatha58 says:

    (1) mandates the creation of a database for all permit holders that can be accessed by:

    – law enforcement, for purposes of investigation of a crime,
    – verification of professional permits for employment purposes,
    – public access to anonymized statistical/demographic information

    (2) requires that the data relating to permit holders be kept confidential,

    How is this information kept confidential when they specifically state it is available to several groups for several different reasons? Does not sound very confidential to me.

    1. avatar VSN says:

      Well, newspapers won’t be able to publish the names and addresses of permit-holders. If you’re a teacher, you won’t have to worry about a student’s parents looking up your permit and trying to shame you out of a job. You won’t have to worry about nosy neighbors or prospective landlords looking it up, either.

      Law enforcement *should* only be looking up your permit if you are arrested or charged with a crime that would disqualify you from having one. The employment bit likely only applies to those with a Professional permit.

      1. avatar Another Robert says:

        Can you explain what a “Professional” permit is?

        1. avatar VSN says:

          Exactly what it sounds like, a permit for those in professional security whose job requires something with a bit more sauce. The upside is that you don’t have as many restrictions as far as where you may carry. The downside is that you have to renew every year, instead of 5–except in the case of LEOs and corrections officers. This new bill allows for those with professional permits to carry on school grounds while in the process of carrying out their duties, whereas current law requires them to have explicit permission from the school.

    2. avatar BlueBronco says:

      It also depends on what the definition of the investigation of a crime is. In MD, a license plate light and plate from Florida is grounds to see if the person has a CCW license which is then grounds to search the vehicle for a gun.

  8. avatar DangerMouse says:

    My wife made me watch a couple hours of The Bachelor this year. The dude’s from Iowa, I would have been less likely to fall asleep if he had busted out a Salvo 12 for some blasting out on the farm.

  9. avatar Missouri Mule says:

    Is there a citizen enforceable penalty for disclosure of confidential information?
    If not it is worthless.
    We found this out in Missouri.
    Our custodian of records, the Missouri Department of Revenue, (LOL) GAVE ALL the Missouri records to the FBI and Social Security Administration because somebody asked. Despite each disclosure being a class A misdemeanor and an investigation by the Republican legislature absolutely nothing was done to the government criminals who did this.

  10. avatar Chip Bennett says:

    Looks like another good win for gun rights. Hopefully it passes the Senate as well.

  11. avatar Theo Braunohler says:

    Wow, the forced CLEO signature on NFA items is pretty ridiculous. It’s essentially a defacto ban unless you happen to win the CLEO lottery.

    1. avatar Mad Cow says:

      Unless I’m mistaken, I read it as a 30 day “shall issue” claus for suppressors as long as you’re eligible to own one. I think that’s much preferable to the standard CLEO lottery that you usually have.

      1. avatar ML Roak says:

        Yes, they have 30 days to sign it, or prove to a judge a valid reason that you (the person wanting the suppressor) should be blocked from owning one. This is to prevent a CLEO’s personal politics from preventing you BATF approval.

  12. avatar Sian says:

    My issue is, with the state of cybersecurity, how secure is this database? Can we expect a hacker to make said database available to criminals and others a couple years down the road? signs point to yes.

    1. avatar MamaLiberty says:

      The largest and most dangerous class of criminals will be the ones collecting and administering the data base.

      Of the rapidly diminishing number of free lance street thugs, few have any real use for this information – even if they have the brains to get it. The uniformed thugs of all kinds don’t have to hack a data base to use it very effectively.

      The problem isn’t data base security… it’s the presence of a data base at all. Only the controllers benefit from such a thing in this case.

  13. avatar Mad Cow says:

    While not perfect, I do think that this is a huge step forward. Considering what kind of support this is getting, I think it was a good compromise (using that term in real world terms and not gun grabber terms).

    If this passes, what’s next?
    Allowing ownership of all NFA items.
    Concealed carry in public parks.

    Further down the road:
    Carry in schools and universities.
    Constitutional carry.

    Still work to be done, but this is a great step forward.

Write a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

button to share on facebook
button to tweet
button to share via email