Iowa lawmakers vary on what needs to change following shooting at Texas elementary school

Published: May. 25, 2022 at 6:25 PM CDT
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Iowa (KCRG) - State and local lawmakers in Iowa are pushing for change to gun laws in the U.S. after Tuesday’s mass shooting at a Texas elementary school.

Iowa State Senator Liz Mathis says action must be taken following the shooting at Robb Elementary, saying “Congress has got to get together and start to work in a bipartisan way with passing universal background checks.”

That’s a push echoed by Representative Cindy Axne, who is urging Senators to pass several bills focused on background checks that have already passed the house. She said in a statement quote “We have gone another day where children in this country are being murdered because we are allowing assault style rifles to legally be put into the wrong hands without appropriate background checks.”

Senator Chuck Grassley is emphasizing his EAGLE’s act as critical step to address school shootings. The bill is named for the 2018 shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. The bill would establish a Safe School Initiative, a national program on school violence prevention that will include expanded research on school violence. “It builds on research conducted by the Secret Service on targeted school violence and would help us proactively identify and manage these threats before they even occur,” says Grassley.

Representative Ashley Hinson says there’s a need to look into school safety and addressing illegal weapons, saying “We do need to have more conversations about school safety and law enforcement’s involvement, and cracking down on illegal weapons. But we need to actually focus on legislation that keeps guns out of the wrong hands without infringing on the rights of our law abiding citizens.”

The House has passed two bills to address background checks. One, HR 1446, would close a loophole that allows some licensed gun sales to go through before a required background check is done. The other, HR 8, also known as the Bipartisan Background Checks Act of 2021, would expand background checks for all firearm sales or transfers in the U-S.

Both are still waiting for a Senate vote. HR 8 was placed on the Senate Legislative Calendar yesterday.

Progress Iowa is in support of gun reform like universal background checks and banning assault weapons. They’re also pushing for action from state lawmakers and Governor Kim Reynolds.

“With the common sense, like safety rules, that have been stripped away by the governor and the Republican legislature, That type of thing could happen here, and even if it doesn’t, what they’ve left us with is the fear of that happening.” says Executive Director Matt Sinovic.

John Mclaughlin, Chair of the Iowa Firearms Coalition, gave TV9 a statement saying “Too many parents’ beautiful children did not come home from school in Texas. We, sadly, live in a world where bad people exploit soft targets to commit evil acts, regardless of what the laws on the books say. There is a lesson here; we must do more to enhance security around places like schools and train more responsible and moral citizens. Please join us in praying for all those grieving on this day.”

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