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Giffords Condemns Iowa Bill Eliminating the State Background Checks System

    Washington, DC Giffords, the gun violence prevention group led by former Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, denounces Iowa bill HF756, a bill that would eliminate Iowa’s current firearm background check system. This dangerous legislation comes after a shooting that left ten people dead in Boulder, Colorado, and the tragic murders of eight people at three metro Atlanta massage parlors,

    “Iowa Republicans are taking extreme action to dismantle Iowa’s background checks laws as gun violence is devastating communities across America,” said Peter Ambler, Giffords Executive Director. “After several mass shootings across the country over the span of a week, Iowa Republicans are repealing background checks on unlicensed sales. When other states rolled back their laws, they saw gun violence spike. This bill accomplishes nothing for Iowa gun owners — it will only allow people who aren’t legally able to purchase guns to more easily obtain and carry them in the state of Iowa. Signing this bill late on a Friday afternoon doesn’t allow Governor Reynolds to hide: She has chosen the special interests of the gun lobby over Iowa families and communities, but we will continue to fight for the safety of all Iowans.”

    The bill adopts permitless concealed carry, including in the capitol building and on capitol grounds, and repeals the requirement to obtain a permit to acquire handguns. HF756 also removes the background check requirement for private handgun sales. According to Giffords Law Center’s Annual Gun Law Scorecard, the state of Iowa received a C due to its current gun laws. 

    The provisions Iowa lawmakers are working to enact in HF756 would significantly lower this grade. Earlier this month, the United States House of Representatives passed H.R. 8, the Bipartisan Background Checks Act, with bipartisan support. Neither H.R. 8 nor its Senate companion legislation, S. 529, the Background Checks Expansion Act, has yet been considered in the Senate. By eliminating the background checks system already in place, Iowa lawmakers put communities at risk of losing lives to gun violence.