Legislation impacts concealed weapons permits - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Legislation impacts concealed weapons permits

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by Danielle Wagner

BLACK HAWK COUNTY (KWWL) Many things have come out of this year's session, including new rules for concealed weapons permits.

It means sheriffs have less discretion when it comes to deciding who gets a concealed weapons permit, and if a sheriff denies someone, he must give a reason for the denial.

Sheriff Tony Thompson doesn't think the legislation will have much impact on Black Hawk County. Thompson already considers the county "shall issue" meaning he will issue a permit unless there's a good reason not to.

Sheriff Thompson said he takes into consideration why a person wants a permit, but more importantly a person's background, especially any criminal history.

He said there are currently 2,000 permit holders in Black Hawk County.

Gun-rights advocates say the law is good because it standardizes the permit process across the state.

Opponents feel the law could make our state less safe.

Thompson said a problem could arise when a sheriff knows a person has a history of certain behavior, but there's no legal record of that behavior. For example, if a person is accused of domestic violence but never faces charges.

Sheriff Thompson said a unique aspect of the new legislation is people need to re-qualify for a permit every five years.

Also, right now people go to the sheriff for approval first and then take a course. With the new legislation, they'll take the course first and then apply for approval from the sheriff.

Governor Chet Culver still needs to sign the legislation. Once signed, it takes effect January of next year.

Reporter: Danielle Wagner

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