New Rules for Firearms at Iowa Child Care Centers on Hold

Dec 19, 2017

Kim Reynolds’ administration is backing off proposed rules for guns in Iowa day cares, something the Department of Human Services up to now has not addressed.    

DHS was scheduled to present the proposed rules before state lawmakers last week, but the item was  pulled from the Administrative Rules Review Committee agenda.  

We want to make sure we're looking at that from all perspectives. -Gov. Kim Reynolds

At her weekly news conference, Reynolds said they want to hear from all stakeholders first.

“We hadn’t done that,” Reynolds said.   “We want to make sure we're looking at that from all perspectives.” 

A DHS description of the rules cites the American Academy of Pediatrics recommendation that child care centers should have written policies banning firearms.   But the description goes on to state there are other concerns to consider.

“While taking best practice into consideration for rule amendments, it is also recognized that some people approve of professionals in child care and educators having access to weapons in the event of an emergency,” the description continues.   “Additionally, many people have strong opinions about individual rights to keep and bear arms.”

Many people have strong opinions about individual rights to keep and bear arms. -Dept. of Human Services

The DHS already requires a weapons policy for licensed foster care homes.      Under the proposed rules, weapons in child development homes or licensed child care centers would be discouraged, but may be allowed if they’re unloaded and kept under lock and key, and if parents are advised.   

A spokeswoman for the governor implied they did not pull the rules based on input from either gun rights or gun control activists.  

“Our rules coordinator felt that stakeholder input needed to take place,” Brenna Smith wrote in an e-mail.  “This decision was not made on the advisement of any person or group.”

Reynolds said it may be more appropriate for the legislature to decide the issue.

“That’s the conversation we’re going to have,” Reynolds said.