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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.

USAF Vet March 07, 2013 at 03:37 PM
A perfect example of e2c's lack of knowledge on tge subject is that they are offering you info on a "CWP" (concealed weapon permit) and there is no such thing in Iowa.
Debbie Korver March 07, 2013 at 05:48 PM
2 observations here: 1) I don't see the journalistic value in including the list of names. To me, it appears sensationalistic and the article can stand on it's own without the list. I don't have a strong opinion regarding guns either way, so it's a complete outsider's view. 2) "Bully two WOMEN journalists". (Shudder). Why do you feel the need to call out their gender? Don't these women have journalistic integrity as individuals? Why feel the need to protect them just because they are women? Nobody would say that someone is bullying two MALE journalists. We women are strong and I'm sure they knew by writing this piece it would be highly controversial. Please don't under estimate our gender. We can take the heat. That is all.
Twy March 08, 2013 at 10:51 AM
Interesting that I have never and still do not see this comment of "revenge". Even more telling when I ask a point blank question of the reporters involved it goes ignored. More to that they use an inflammatory term or "secret" as thought we are trying to hide something that should be public info; when the legislators obviously"get it" (amazing I know) reporters still want to put their readers in harms way.
Stephen Schmidt March 09, 2013 at 01:05 AM
Twy, It existed but was in our moderation queue and was deleted before it was made live, I can track it down possibly and take a screen shot for you if you'd really like but that may not be possible in our CMS. Frankly, though, I'd rather move past that as I think I overreacted to that in the first place. Better to continue the civil discussion on both sides. Speaking of civil discussion, I wanted to let you know that after talking with you and seeing reactions from other debaters on my site, I may decide to stop posting the gun permits altogether. More for privacy reasons than for safety reasons, but I'd rather make the visitors to my site feel like they are welcome no matter what their views are, so if this is a serious sticking point I'll take it into consideration. Of course, HF81 might make all that a moot point, but we'll see about that. I wanted to get back to you and Mr. Butthurt, if he's still lurking around, to show that we do listen to what you're saying even if we don't always agree. Now I'll go back to my own site and stop trespassing on my Central Iowa neighbors' lawn.
Stephen Schmidt March 09, 2013 at 01:11 AM
@Debby I regret the "women journalist" reference as it never was my intention to make it seem like they needed me to come to their defense. I reacted without them asking me to do it as I felt things were getting a little out of hand and I wanted to change the discussion back to civil grounds rather than having my coworkers be targets. You could argue, probably rightly so, that I could have done a better job of that, but that was my intent. Incidentally, both women are much more dangerous than I am. One owns a Taser and has fired many a weapon, and the other has a mean swing with something called a grain shovel. I own none of these things, although I would like to try target shooting some day, as I covered a skeet shooting club once and it seemed interesting. But anyway, if there's anyone at Iowa Patch who'd be easy to pick on, it'd be me. As the cliche goes, I'm a lover, not a fighter.

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