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Iowa Legislature sends bill allowing gun purchases without a permit to governor’s desk

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DES MOINES, Iowa (KWWL) -- The Iowa Legislature has passed a bill that would no longer require Iowans to have a permit to buy or carry a gun, sending the measure to Gov. Kim Reynolds' desk for her signature.

The Iowa Senate approved House File 756 on Monday by a 31-17 vote after the Iowa House approved the measure 60-37 last week.

If you go to a store and buy a gun from a licensed dealer, the bill won't change much. You will still have to undergo a federal background check by the FBI. Iowans would still be able to obtain permits to carry or acquire guns, but it would be optional.

The permits and background checks will not be required for private sales, but it is a federal crime to sell a gun to someone who isn't allowed to own one. Under the bill, doing so would be a class D felony and be punishable by up to five years in prison.

Supporters say the bill makes it easier for Iowans to buy guns and exercise their Second Amendment right to bear arms. Republican lawmakers add they believe many Iowans would still apply for permits to be able to carry their weapons out of state. Opponents say the bill will lead to guns ending up in the wrong hands of prohibited buyers like domestic abusers, felons and those with mental illnesses.

The Senate approved that bill right after passing House File 621 by a 31-17 vote as well Monday afternoon, sending the bill to Gov. Reynolds' desk. That bill also passed through the House by a 60-37 vote last week.

The bill would prohibit Iowans from bringing legal action against a gun manufacturer or dealer for damage caused by a third party's criminal or unlawful use of a gun. It would allow lawsuits to be brought in cases of breach of warranty or where the gun or accessory is defective.

Back in January, lawmakers also passed a proposed amendment to the Iowa Constitution to protect the right to keep and bear arms, putting the issue before voters in the 2022 general election.

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