The National Rifle Association is pressing state lawmakers not to exclude Iowans who’re full-time soldiers from the state’s new “right to carry” law, but state officials say federal law may prevent that. The 2010 Iowa legislature passed a law which sets up a uniform system for issuing permits to Iowans who want to carry a concealed weapon.
But the N.R.A. argues Iowans who’re in the Army, Navy or other branch of the military and stationed at a base in another state are not allowed to apply for a permit. Chris Rager of the N.R.A. says they’re being penalized for their military service.
“Basically we want them to be able to be afforded the same rights that civilians are,” Rager says, “and I think that that’s proper given that they are putting their lives on the line and honorably serving their country.” But officials in the Iowa Department of Public Safety say they’re following the Federal Gun Control Act, and it could take action by Congress to change the rules.
Iowa National Guard soldiers are not impacted because, even when they’re stationed in other states or oversees, the men and women of the Iowa Guard are still considered Iowa residents.