Two bills that would change Iowa guns laws are headed to the governor’s desk.
The first would let Iowans buy and sell “suppressors”or “silencers” that greatly reduce the sound of a gunshot. Target shooters say the devices helps preserve their hearing. Representative Matt Windschitl, a Republican from Missouri Valley, is a gunsmith, which means he’s been trained to repair, modify and build guns.
“This has been a long-time coming,” Windschitl said on the House floor this week. “What we have before us now is a bill that’s going to expand Iowa’s freedoms.”
Suppressors are legal in 40 other states.
The second gun-related bill that has cleared both the House and Senate this week would let landowners carry a loaded gun while driving an all-terrain vehicle or snowmobile on their property. Anyone else on an ATV or snowmobile could carry a gun, but it would have to be unloaded and in a case or holster.
“Also, you must get off the vehicle to shoot unless you’re wheel-chair bound, basically.” said Senator Dick Dearden of Des Moines, an avid hunter who worked on the bill.
Bill backers say it’s dangerous to encounter some wild animals while riding ATVs or snowmobiles in rural areas and this bill will let people shoot rabid or charging animals.
Governor Branstad has not raised concerns about either bill. If he signs the bills into law, each would go into effect July 1.