New shorter application for pardoning criminals' gun rights - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

New shorter application for pardoning criminals' gun rights

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(KWWL) -

Governor Branstad announcing Monday, if you are an ex-con, there is a new, shorter application in order to get your gun rights back.

It may be a condensed application to start the process, but by no means is it an easy process.

The process of buying a gun is strict for even the most upstanding citizens.

For those who've been convicted of a crime, Iowa isn't looking to make it easy.

"We don't want somebody who has committed a violent crime getting firearms rights back because it might put the public in danger. So if you have committed murder or armed robbery forget about getting your gun rights back. You are not going to get them back," said Governor Branstad.

Branstad calling the new application streamlined with two instead of four pages and 29 instead of 43 questions. But that's just the start.

Ex-cons must also include proof of court fee payment, a resume, criminal history, credit check, three references, and six letters of recommendation.

"The first of it goes through the parole board and if they make a positive recommendation, then I send it to the DCI to do an extensive background check. Then of those who we think are good risks, I personally interview them," said Branstad.

Similar streamlining changes were made earlier this year to the process of restoring voting rights. A common thread, paying court fees.

"We have nearly $700 million in unpaid fines and court costs in this state; $700 million. That tells me there are a lot of people who aren't meeting their obligations and to have your rights, you should also meet your responsibilities of citizenship. One of those responsibilities is to pay the penalty you were assessed for committing the felony in the first place," said Branstad.

Ex-cons can immediately qualify for voting rights if their fees are paid, but there is a five year waiting period before they can even apply for their gun rights.

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