Gun bill would allow suppressors in Iowa - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Gun bill would allow suppressors in Iowa

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A bill making its way through the Iowa House of Representatives is intended to safeguard your personal information as a gun owner - and would allow gun suppressors.

The National Rifle Association and one of its affiliates - the Iowa Firearms Coalition - are backing the changes.

Right now, if someone files a public records request, they can get the name, address and birth date of concealed carry permit holders.

That would be just one change if the bill passes.

Another would be legalizing gun suppressors, which limit the noise a gun makes when its fired.

Bremer County Sheriff Dan Pickett is the top law enforcement officer in his county.

He says he's not sure if allowing gun suppressors is a good idea.

"I could see a problem with that because if somebody is shot, for now, people hear a gunshot. That helps in a lot of cases solve crimes. If you didn't have that, you wouldn't have near as many leads," said Pickett.

Jeff Burkett/Iowa Firearms Coalition: "A suppressor is a silencer for all practical purposes. The problem is the term silencer is confusing because it doesn't silence the firearm. Most firearms are going to be silenced to the decibel level of a lawnmower," said Jeff Burkett, a member of the board of directors for the Iowa Firearms Coalition.

Supporters say it would help limit noise complaints near outdoor shooting ranges, especially in rural areas.

House Study Bill 201 would update the concealed carry law to move the retraining requirement to every ten years, instead of every five.

It would limit the amount of personal information that could be released to the public.

It would remove the age restriction on minors shooting while supervised by a parent or guardian.

It would allow suppressors, which are already allowed in 39 states.

"There's an expensive tax you have to pay along with the cost of a suppressor itself and that has to be approved through the ATF at the federal level before you can get one, which is why you don't see legal suppressors used in crimes because criminals don't have the money to spend on that type of instrument," said Burkett.

Meantime, Sheriff Pickett would like to see more hands-on training requirements.

"Some of these programs take you out and make you shoot the gun and some are where some people sit in a classroom and they explain everything but it's not like having a gun in your hand and pulling the trigger and having it go off," said Pickett.

The bill is expected to receive a hearing in the House Judiciary Subcommittee Tuesday.

Supporters say they hope it can be forwarded on to a full vote in the House and Senate this session.

Similar efforts have failed in recent years but supporters believe having support from Republicans and Democrats will help the bill gain some traction.

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