116 3rd St SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
CEDAR RAPIDS — Three days after a gunman fatally shot 19 grade school students and two teachers in Uvalde, Texas, U.S. Sen Chuck Grassley said he’s hearing from Iowans who want more gun restrictions.
“They think it would be real easy to get 60 votes to do away with certain guns,” Grassley said, adding that other people are calling and writing his office to say “don’t take away my gun.”
Even at a lunch Friday with the Linn Eagles, a Republican fundraising group, Grassley heard questions about how to stop the next school shooting.
“Do you think there will be movement to remove AR15s from teenagers’ hands?” a woman asked Grassley at the campaign event at the Cedar Rapids Country Club.
“Well, some states do that now,” Grassley said, speaking to about 100 people.
Grassley said a federal assault weapons ban from 1994 to 2005 had no impact on the nation’s crime rate.
U.S. Justice Department research actually shows the ban may have contributed to a drop in the gun murder rate and murders of police officers by criminals armed with assault weapons, but did not affect the average number of victims per gun murder or the number of multiple gunshot wound victims.
Grassley said Congress in recent years has failed to get enough votes for any measures to reduce access to assault rifles, including a bill Grassley proposed with Texas Sen. Ted Cruz in 2021 that would ensure law enforcement agencies and other institutions accurately submit records to the National Instant Criminal Background Check System.
Grassley spoke to the Republican group for about 15 minutes, focusing on inflation and border security. He compared President Joe Biden to Russian President Vladimir Putin, saying Biden is not respecting U.S. sovereignty by allowing immigrants to enter the country without documentation.
He and Iowa Sen. Joni Ernst have proposed the Build It Act, which would allow materials delivered to the U.S. border to build a border wall during President Donald Trump’s administration to be given to border states that want to continue construction.
The audience applauded Grassley at two points. Once when Justin Wasson, who is running for Iowa Senate, pointed out Grassley had blocked Merrick Garland’s nomination to the U.S. Supreme Court in 2016.
The other time was when Grassley talked about the need to shore up Social Security and Medicare. Grassley said he can do more on the Senate Finance Committee if Republicans gain more seats in Congress.
Grassley is running for his eighth U.S. Senate term. Three Democrats are vying to compete against him in November.
Friday’s luncheon was attended by close to a dozen state and local Republican officials, including Secretary of State Paul Pate and Cedar Rapids Mayor Tiffany O’Donnell, as well as Republicans running for office.
Pate urged attendees to get to out vote in the June 7 primary and to financially support Eastern Iowa Republicans.
“Please make sure you look at the candidates who are running,” he said. “If you can help them out, please do so.”
The Linn Eagles launched in 1988, the same year Bob Dole won Iowa's Republican caucuses with 37 percent support.
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