Suggestions to reduce gun violence that are supported by the majority of Americans (“How to Reduce Mass Shooting Deaths? Experts Rank Gun Laws,” New York Times, Oct. 5, 2017).
1. Universal background checks means that all gun sales (handguns as well as other firearms) would require background checks. Currently, these checks are required only by licensed dealers, not for private sales or at gun shows. What is preferable is to require a “permit to purchase,” issued by local law enforcement for five years.
2. Domestic abusers, including violence toward dating partners, as well as spouses and family members, should not be allowed to have guns of any type. Anyone on a “known or suspected terrorist list” should be banned from ownership.
3. Guns at home need to be emptied of ammunition which is kept in a different place and have child safety locks, or be in locked cabinets.
4. Ban from general public: guns that allow for rounds of ammunition to be fired with a single pull of the trigger; modifiers, i.e., bump-stocks, that allow that function; and ammunition for those guns. These types of weapons should be allowed only for military.
At a recent legislative town hall in Decorah, State Sen. Michael Breitbach and State Rep. Michael Bergan were asked if an 18-year-old can buy an AR-15 in Iowa. They said that’s true. They said that they are happy with Iowa’s gun laws as they are. That also includes concealed carry of handguns and rifles within our state.