Lawmaker Pushes to Keep Gun Permits Private

Feb 13, 2013

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The names of Iowans who obtain permits to carry a weapon would not be public record under a proposal introduced to a committee in the Iowa House.

The bill's sponsor, Rep. Matt Windschitl (R - Missouri Valley), is a leading gun rights advocate. He sees keeping private the names of Iowans who get permits to carry or acquire weapons as a matter of public safety.

"We need to make sure that we’re protecting the identities of those who choose to get a permit to acquire or carry a weapon, but also those people who choose not to," Windschitl says. "We had recent incidents in other states such as New York where the information was made public and there were crimes that were perpetrated because of those things.”

For example, criminals learned who had weapons and who didn’t. Scott Sunstrum of the Iowa Newspaper and Broadcasters Associations spoke against the proposal. Sunstrum says when the government takes an official action, it should be open to the public.

The Iowa Department of Public Safety says about 144,000 Iowans have permits to carry weapons.