1. Required background checks at the point of
transfer for all firearms.
Where we are
As it stands, the state of Iowa only requires a permit for private purchasers. This permit does not require any safety training and is viable for a duration of five (5) years. Not only does this not include long guns, but because background checks are only required every five (5) years with the renewal of the permit a dangerous gap remains. A person could fall into a prohibited category since obtaining their permit but before the purchase of the firearm. Research shows that 80% of all firearms acquired for criminal intent come from transfers through unlicensed sellers in the United States, and 96% of all inmates who were convicted for gun offenses were already prohibited from possession when they acquired their weapon from an unlicensed seller.
What we need
March For Our Lives Iowa finds it imperative that the Iowa Legislature universalize the legislation on background checks to better protect the life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness for all Iowans. By requiring background checks at the point of transfer for all firearms, it will close two dangerous gaps in our legislation that allow prohibited individuals to obtain dangerous weapons. First, this legislation will expand coverage to include long guns. Secondly, it will ensure that a background check is conducted on all firearm transactions. Requiring background checks on all firearm sales is one of the few proposals with widespread public support. 93% of Americans, including 89% of Republicans and 87% of gun owners support a required background check on all gun sales.
2.mandatory reporting of lost or stolen
Where we are
As it stands, the state of Iowa does not require the reporting of lost or stolen firearms. Federal law requires that licensed dealers report lost or stolen guns, but no law exists requiring individuals to report their lost or stolen firearms. An estimated 233,000 firearms were stolen during household crimes from 2005-2010, and four out of five of those firearms were never recovered. In Iowa alone, approximately 6,444 firearms were stolen between 2012-2015, and nearly 2,700 crime guns recovered in other states between 2010-2016 were originally purchased in Iowa.
What we need
March For Our Lives Iowa finds it imperative that the Iowa Legislature passed legislation requiring the mandatory reporting of lost or stolen firearms by individuals within 48 hours of the discovery of the loss or theft. After 6 months, the gun owner will be presumed to have knowledge of the theft or loss. Failure to report lost or stolen firearms will be classified as a simple misdemeanor punishable by a scheduled fine of $300. Passage of this legislation will help Iowa’s law enforcement agencies better fight back against gun trafficking, and reduce the state of Iowa’s export of crime guns.
3.mandatory 7-day waiting period between
purchase and possession for all firearms.
Where we are
As it stands, the only waiting period in Iowa is for handguns. No handgun can be transferred until the transferee has a valid permit to purchase the handgun, which takes three (3) days to become valid after the application. This not only overlooks long guns but also does not serve as a waiting period once the permit to purchase has become valid. After the permit is issued, the holder may purchase additional handguns without undergoing a waiting period for the one-year duration of the permit. Waiting periods are vitally important in reducing gun deaths from both suicide and homicide.
What we Need
March For Our Lives Iowa finds it imperative that the Iowa Legislature passed legislation requiring a mandatory 7-day waiting period between the purchase and possession for all firearms in the state of Iowa. Waiting periods correlate with a stark reduction in suicide deaths, 7-11% by some studies. Waiting periods also reduce deaths from homicide involving firearms, by up to 17%. Often, those who attempt suicide contemplate their decision for less than 24 hours, meaning that a 7-day waiting period allows those contemplating this to seek mental health services.