The people’s protection?: New Iowa gun law passed creates great concern for safety



As the new gun law in Iowa becomes effective, the safety of the community is at risk and should be of utmost concern.

Kendall Jarvis, News Editor

Governor Kim Reynolds signed a bill on April 2 that allows the purchasing and carrying of firearms without any type of license in the state of Iowa. This bill will become effective on July 1 and allow all Iowans, with exceptions of those not allowed to purchase firearms, to buy and carry pistols and revolvers.

This bill poses many questions because of the eased accessibility to firearms throughout the entire state. Even with the few restrictions to this bill, guns will be easier to obtain for those who are not legally allowed to make those purchases. 

As the date reaches closer to when the law is put into effect, public safety will be put into the community’s hands because guns will not be as strictly regulated by the state government. Although many public places restrict the carrying of guns on their premises, having more citizens who have not gone through firearm safety courses and received a permit allows for more firearms to be carried illegally in these places. 

PV English teacher Robyn Samuelson stated her concerns about the future with this new law. “I think we as a school community and we as citizens need to rebuild a powerful sense of personal-public responsibility for the collective boy. Violence and other destructive social forces spread but so do positive social climates,” she said.

The concerns of safety in public places also translates to many schools, including PV. Before school starts, all doors are open and anyone can enter, and during the day, many students will open the doors to let others into the school which is not allowed by the school. This, along with the new law, creates a larger probability for a dangerous situation to arise at school.

Junior Corinne Johnson expressed her concerns about being at school after the law is passed. “School should be a place that students should feel safe and I feel like this law is making schools feel less safe. I also feel that this is especially true because of the current situation we have with students entering the building,” she stated.

The bill does restrict violators of previous permit laws, those under the age of 21 and criminals prohibited by the court from any gun usage, but these restrictions are not great enough. The spread of gun usage will not just expand for law-abiding citizens but for individuals wanting to cause harm, as well. 

With the current law requiring Iowans to apply for a permit before carrying and purchasing a firearm, there is a line of protection for citizens. “When people are dying every day in the US due to gun violence and we make access to guns easier, we will see more gun death. This is a very dangerous time to ease the restrictions to purchase a firearm,” stated Samuelson.

Opposing this new bill, President Biden signed an executive order on April 8 creating guidelines that states can follow to restrict the ownership of guns for high-risk individuals. But, as seen in Iowa and other states, there is a growing amount of legislation being considered or passed that opposes Biden’s policies on gun control.

The opposing views between the state and federal government has presented a possible power struggle between the different levels of government. This power struggle provides some uncertainty over what may happen in the future with gun control and many other political ideologies. 

There is speculation that this bill was passed partially for political gain as the election for governor is in November 2022, a little over a year away. Both Johnson and Samuelson believe that this law was passed to appeal to Reynold’s Republican base and to gain more votes for her reelection. 

This should be a huge concern for Iowans because Governor Reynolds has repeatedly chosen to pass laws that further her political career by gathering support among her supporters, rather than protect the citizens of her state.