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Iowa's U.S. Sen. Chuck Grassley on Wednesday defended an Iowa bill easing gun restrictions, while calling for 'bipartisan, common-sense” progress on gun control.
Iowans would be able to purchase and carry handguns without permits, should Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds sign a bill passed this week by the Republican-led Iowa Legislature. Iowans buying a gun from a federally licensed dealer still would have to either pass a federal background check or present a permit to carry.
'Some states have that, and I don't know that in and of itself is a problem in those states,” Grassley told reporters Wednesday on a weekly conference call. 'I guess I just have to leave the wisdom of that to (Iowa) legislators.”
Asked how the Iowa bill fits with legislation Grassley has co-sponsored that would require state and local law enforcement to be alerted when someone tries to buy a gun who can't under the law, Grassley responded: 'I think it fits in very well with my whole approach to the Second Amendment.”
'It seems to me totally consistent with the way the law has been for a long time,” the Iowa Republican said of running gun buyers through the National Instant Criminal Background Check System. 'But we have a problem with NICS not getting all of those names in.
'So the legislation is to encourage that so that we know that people (who shouldn't) don't have guns and can't get them,” Grassley said.
House Democrats passed two bills this month that would expand background checks for gun buyers, by applying them to all firearms purchases, and extending the time the FBI has to vet those flagged by a national criminal background check.
Grassley, the top Republican on the Senate Judiciary Committee, said Tuesday at a committee hearing he hoped Democrats and Republicans could work together to make 'bipartisan, common-sense” progress on gun control. But he said the House-passed legislation did not fit that bill.
To the border
Grassley also told reporters he is headed to the U.S.-Mexico border today and Friday where the Biden administration faces pressure to address a surge of migrants that have overwhelmed shelters.
Grassley faulted Biden's executive orders and campaign promises 'to loosen border restrictions” and roll back Trump-era immigration policies.
'I'm sure he meant very well, and probably considered them very much the humanitarian thing to do, but those decisions have caused a crisis at the border,” Grassley said. 'Children are being sent to make a dangerous journey alone.”
Grassley said he will visit a port of entry, process facility and visit with U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents in Texas 'to see the extent of the crisis caused by this administration's policies.”