UPDATE: Area Concealed Weapons Permit Holders; House Committee Votes to Keep Records Secret
After the mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newton, CT, and resulting gun control debate, Polk County saw a spike in concealed weapon permit applications.
Updated at 4:30 p.m., March 6, 2013
Iowa House File 81, which would keep confidential the names of people who apply for permits to purchase firearms or carry concealed weapons, unanimously cleared the Iowa House Judiciary Committee Wednesday on a 20-0 vote.
Backers of the bill said the legislation is necessary to protect the safety of permit holders as well as people who do not own firearms, the Des Moines Register reported.
Opponents say confidentiality is necessary to protect the safety of both permit holders and those who do not own guns.
The bill now goes to the full House for debate.
Earlier, Patch reported:
The Polk County Sheriff’s Office issued 1,184 concealed weapons permits in January, public records released by the department show.
The mass killing at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, CT, on Dec. 14 and the debate over gun control that it caused may be responsible for the increase.
In December 2012, the sheriff’s department processed more than 400 gun permit purchase applications and 700 applications for permits to carry concealed weapons, WHO-TV, the NBC affiliate in Des Moines, reported.
With gun violence increasing in public places, do you think public interests are served by knowing who has permits to buy and carry concealed weapons? Tell us below in the comments.
At the time, the sheriff’s office said that was more applications than they have ever received in one month.
A new law took effect in Iowa in January 2011 that required county sheriffs to issue concealed weapons permits in most cases. Before the change, sheriffs had wide discretion, resulting in lack of uniformity among the state’s 99 counties.
The records were released under the provisions of Chapter 21, Iowa’s Open Meetings Law.
Lawmakers, gun lobbyists and a leading law enforcement lobbying group said, to ensure the safety of both permit holders and those without firearms licenses.
House File 81, backed by some lawmakers, gun lobbyists and a leading law enforcement lobbying group, would close those records to protect the safety of permit holders and the public, the Des Moines Register reported.
The Iowa Newspaper Association is lobbying against the proposed legislation.
With gun violence increasing in public places, do you think public interests are served by knowing who has permits to buy and carry concealed weapons? Tell us below in the comments. Tell us in the comments.