Sixty-two police chiefs from across the state have signed a petition, urging Congress to renew the federal ban on assault weapons like the A-K-47. John Johnson of Iowans for the Prevention of Gun Violence says his group solicited the petition signatures because members of Congress are more likely to listen to the nation’s law enforcement officers than activists from gun control groups. Johnson believes one reason so many Iowa law enforcement officials signed the petition is because assault weapons pose a great risk to cops because the bullets can pierce body armor. Johnson says law enforcement officers are far more likely to be in a situation where they’re looking down the barrell of an assault weapon than is the general public. Johnson says “assault weapons represent an unreasonable threat of death and injury to all Americans” but he says the threat is greatest to cops. The FBI says from the beginning of 1998 to the end of 2001, one out of five officers killed in the line of duty were killed with an assault weapon. Johnson’s group and the law enforcement officials who signed the petition are asking Congress to renew the assault weapons ban that expires on September 13th, and to close some loopholes that have allowed gun manufacturers to keep making and marketing so-called assault weapons. Here’s the list of Iowa police chiefs and sheriffs who signed the petition, alphabetized in five regions: Anamosa, Cedar Falls, Clinton, Davenport, Denver, DeWitt, Monona, Oelwein, Strawberry Point, Waverly; Burlington, Cedar Rapids, Centerville, Coralville, Corydon, Fairfield, Fort Madison, Hiawatha, Iowa City, Keokuk, Marion, Mount Pleasant, Mount Vernon, Muscatine, Ottumwa, West Burlington, Wilton; Altoona, Ankeny, Des Moines, Johnston, Knoxville, Pleasant Hill, Urbandale; Boone, Clive, Decorah, Garner, Indianola, Iowa Falls, Marshalltown, Mason City, Nashua, Nevada, Northwood, Story City, Waukee, West Des Moines; Atlantic, Avoca, Carroll, Clarinda, Denison, Harlan, Leon, Mapleton, Red Oak, Shehandoah, Sioux City, Spencer, Storm Lake, Villsca.
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