Governor Terry Branstad says he’s a supporter of the Second Amendment, but doesn’t see a need to strengthen state laws to protect the rights of gun owners.
“I know that there are people who feel strongly on both sides of this issue,” Branstad says, “but I’m really focused on the things that I think are the most important to grow the Iowa economy and that is jobs, reforming and reducing the property tax, and reforming education.”
Republicans in the Iowa House plan to introduce a series of gun-related bills that would expand gun rights. One would let Iowans who have a permit to carry a concealed weapon carry that weapon in a school.
“Even though the NRA endorsed my opponent in the last election, I believe in protecting individuals’ rights,” Branstad says. “I also think that the issues of violence in the schools can best be addressed by things like the bullying prevention summit that we had and the reform that we’re doing of the mental health system to try to identify and help people with mental problems.”
Branstad also says he’s very careful in evaluating requests from paroled felons who apply to have their gun rights restored. Branstad made his comments this morning during taping of the “Iowa Press” program that airs tonight on Iowa Public Television.