Voluntary gun storage option for Iowans who don’t want their gun at home passes legislature

DES MOINES — The Iowa legislature has unanimously voted to let Iowans give a gun they legally own to a federally licensed gun dealer — if the gun dealer volunteers to store it. If the person asks to retrieve their gun later, the dealer would not be liable if the person uses the gun to hurt themselves or commit a crime.

Representative Elinor Levin, a Democrat from Iowa City, says it’s a great bill.  “It gives the dealers an option, it gives the owners an option for anyone who feels at that time it’s not a good time to be storing (a gun) in the home,” Levin said, “for space, because of who’s in the house — whatever.”

Republican Senator Scott Webster of Bettendorf says the bill has the backing of gun rights groups and the National Alliance on Mental Illness. “I believe this bill will help Iowans overall with a voluntary type program for the case of somebody who may have mental health issues and so on and so forth,” Webster said.

Republicans who control the Iowa legislature’s debate agenda in the past have rejected a so-called “red flag” law to police or family members seek court orders to prevent people considered to be a danger to themselves or others from having guns. Critics say red flag laws violate a person’s due process rights.