New gun rights proposals 'dead on arrival' in Iowa Senate

Some Iowa House members say they're working on proposals in response to Obama initiatives

Lawmakers in the Iowa House plan to bring back gun rights measures that failed last year and craft new legislation in response to President Barack Obama’s new gun-control initiatives.

But a key state senator said the bills don’t have a chance in the Iowa Senate.

“I find it very disconcerting that the president would try and reinstate the assault weapons ban and reduce magazine capacity to only 10 rounds,” said Rep. Matt Windschitl, R-Missouri Valley. “I think that is an assault on the Second Amendment, and I think all it does is further limits Americans’ Second Amendment rights and their ability to defend themselves against violent crime and criminals.”

On Wednesday, Obama released a series of executive orders and policy changes he will pursue in the wake of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting.

Windschitl pushed a “stand your ground” bill last year as well as legislation that would create a constitutional amendment declaring Iowans fundamental right to “acquire, keep, possess, transport, carry, transfer and use arms to defend life and liberty and for all other legitimate purposes.’’ It would prohibit mandatory licensing, registration and special taxation of firearms.

The bills passed the Republican-controlled House but were never called up in the Democratic-controlled Senate.

Speaking to reporters on Wednesday, Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Rob Hogg, D-Cedar Rapids, called last year’s bills and any attempt to bring them back “crazy.”

“If they want to waste their time in passing them, they will be dead on arrival in the state Senate because we’re not doing that,” Hogg said.

Windschitl, who serves as an assistant majority leader in the House, said some House members are working on their own legislation as well.

One such member is Tom Shaw, R-Laurens.

“It basically says the federal government cannot come in and take our firearms. We will stop them,” Shaw said. “An Iowa citizen would not have to comply with registration or any type of confiscation, so it’s just a matter of the state standing up for their citizens.”

A spokesman for Gov. Terry Branstad said the governor supports the Second Amendment and does not think additional gun restrictions are necessary.

“The governor believes Iowa’s gun laws are adequate and does not believe they need changed at this time,” Albrecht said.

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