The group Iowans for the Prevention of Gun Violence is calling on legislators to require background checks on guns sold on state property. A gun show billed as the state’s largest is held on the Iowa State Fairgrounds. John Johnson, executive director of Iowans for the Prevention of Gun Violence, says a background check would ensure guns at that show aren’t sold to felons, domestic abusers or minors. “We think state government has a responsiblity to be a role model in the conduct of their business operations involving the sale of fire arms,” Johnson says. Iowans for the Prevention of Gun Violence also wants backgrounds checks on any gun sale in Iowa. Lee Wilcox is president of Trade Show Productions, the firm that runs the gun show on the fairgrounds. Wilcox says his group opposes the background check because it infringes on the rights of Americans to own a gun. Wilcox says the state Fair Board has also ruled against requiring background checks at the gun show on the fairgrounds, which is scheduled next week, December 17th through the 19th. Iowans for the Prevention of Gun Violence is also pressing for a statewide ban on the sale of military-style, semi-automatic assault weapons. The federal ban on those kind of weapons expired this fall. Johnson says polls show a majority of people support specific gun control proposals. Johnson says between 80 and 90 percent of Americans support background checks at gunshows, and 70 percent of Americans support a ban on the sale or possession of assault weapons. “Therefore, we think lawmakers should listen to the public, through the polling, and take action that the public supports,” Johnson says.
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