An Iowa gun control group is taking aim at what it says is a legal loophole that allows firearms to slip into the hands of criminals. Members of Iowans for the Prevention of Gun Violence surveyed 18 of Iowa’s largest newspapers to find out if they accepted classified ads for guns.John Johnson, executive director of the Iowa City-based group says of the 18 Iowa papers polled, 14 -do- take classified ads for guns. The Quad City Times only takes ads from federally licensed gun dealers. The Sioux City Journal, The Clinton Herald and the Daily Iowan of Iowa City refuse gun ads. Johnson says I-P-G-V did a follow-up study that involved 36 regional or national papers.Two-thirds took classified ads for guns, one-third didn’t. Johnson says his group was able to get the Chicago Tribune and the Philadelphia Enquirer to change their policies and stop taking the ads. He says the Iowa papers are going to be phoned for yet another follow-up.Johnson says there are many examples of why this practice should be abolished. In 1999, a Peoria Heights, Illinois, man was able to buy two guns through a classified ad. He killed two people and wounded nine in Illinois and Indiana, targeting blacks, Asians and Jews, and later killed himself. Benjamin Smith had earlier been denied guns by a licensed dealer after a background check found his ex-girlfriend had a restraining order against him.
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