DES MOINES, Iowa (March 24, 2021) – On Monday, the Iowa Senate gave final approval of a “Constitutional Carry” bill that would make it legal for Iowans to carry a firearm without a permit, fostering an environment hostile to federal gun control.
The House Public Safety Committee introduced House Bill 756 (HF756) on March 5. The legislation would eliminate the permit requirement for carrying handguns in the state. It would also loosen some restrictions on the possession and transfer of firearms. The state would continue to issue concealed carry permits under a revamped system for those wishing to have a CCDW license in order to carry in states with reciprocity with Iowa.
EFFECT ON FEDERAL GUN CONTROL
While permitless carry bills do not directly affect federal gun control, the widespread passage of permitless conceal carry laws in states subtly undermines federal efforts to regulate guns. As we’ve seen with marijuana and industrial hemp, a federal regulation becomes ineffective when states ignore it and pass laws encouraging the prohibited activity anyway.
The federal government lacks the enforcement power necessary to maintain its ban, and people will willingly take on the small risk of federal sanctions if they know the state will not interfere. This increases when the state actively encourages “the market.”
Less restrictive state gun laws will likely have a similar impact on federal gun laws. It will make it that much more difficult for the feds to enforce any future federal gun control, and increase the likelihood that states with few limits will simply refuse to cooperate with federal enforcement efforts.
State actions such as passing HF756 would lower barriers for those wanting to the option of defending themselves with firearms and encourages a “gun-friendly” environment that would make federal efforts to limit firearms that much more difficult.
Gov. Reynolds will have 3 days (excluding Sunday) from the time HF756 is transmitted to her desk to sign or veto. If she takes no action, it will become law without her signature.