By: Teresa Mull
Iowa has officially become the 19th Constitutional Carry state. Gov. Kim Reynolds signed House File 756 into law on Good Friday.
Constitutional Carry is a policy that removes the requirement that a law-abiding citizen must ask the government permission before exercising his or her Second Amendment rights.
There was some doubt as to whether Reynolds would sign this bill into law after it passed the Senate along party lines with a 30-17 vote, but the governor said in a statement last week:
"We will never be able to outlaw or prevent every single bad actor from getting a gun, but what we can do is ensure law-abiding citizens have full access to their constitutional rights while keeping Iowans safe.”
Sen. Jason Schultz (R-Schleswig), sponsor of House File 756, explained his law previously, saying, “Currently, whether we want to admit it or not, our system of permits is one of mistrust. That means you can exercise a fundamental right, but you must prove yourself not guilty in advance. That is not how America is supposed to work, and I’m not happy with the way our federal government is moving right now. But I know it’s not the way Iowa works, and we’re going to deal with that now.”
The National Association for Gun Rights (NAGR), which has worked hard to make Constitutional Carry the law of the land in several states, has warned of watered-down, “confused carry” in other states, including bills pending in Indiana and Tennessee currently.
Iowa has become the third state to enact permitless carry in 2021 alone. Utah and Montana became the 17th and 18th Constitutional Carry states, respectively, when they adopted the measure in February.
NAGR’s president, Dudley Brown, said in a statement when HF 756 passed the Senate, “When I helped found Iowa Gun Owners fourteen years ago, our primary goal was to pass Constitutional Carry. Politicians laughed at us and said it would never happen in our lifetime, but years of grassroots activism of pro-gun Iowans is finally paying off and a landmark victory for the Second Amendment is within reach.”
Way to go, Iowa! And thank you to NAGR and other pro-gun rights groups for fighting on the behalf of gun owners everywhere.
Teresa Mull (email@example.com) is editor of Gunpowder Magazine.