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Governor reviewing proposed changes in Iowa gun law

Governor Kim Reynolds is reviewing legislation that would make state permits to buy handguns or carry a concealed weapon an option rather than a requirement.

“I’m waiting for that to come to my desk,” Reynolds said Wednesday. “We’ll do a thorough evaluation as I always have.”

In 2010, Reynolds voted as a state senator to establish Iowa’s “shall issue” permit system and she’s called it good policy, but the governor is also expressing an openness to doing away with it.

“I said I thought the policies were good that were in place, but I will continue to take a look at new legislation that is presented and I think that’s the appropriate approach and that’s what we’re doing right now,” Reynolds said during a news conference. “and I’ve been very consistent on my messaging on that.”

Republicans in the Iowa House passed the bill to make gun permits voluntary last week. Senate Republicans gave it final approval Monday, before Colorado officials that evening confirmed a gunman had killed 10 at a Boulder grocery store. In 2018, a GOP lawmaker said Reynolds had asked senators to table a similar bill that had been scheduled for debate 24 hours after a mass shooting at a Florida high school.

“I’ve been pretty clear that when we are talking about gun violence, we need to take a holistic approach,” Reynolds said. “There’s not a single answer. We need to be following the laws that are on the books. We need to make sure that coordination is in place between the agencies. We need to do everything we can to address mental health and behavioral health issues.”

The bill does not do away with the permit process, as some gun owners will be able to show their Iowa permit and be able to carry a concealed weapon in some other states. Frequent gun purchasers may opt for the five-year permit to acquire guns.

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