Governor Terry Branstad.

Governor Terry Branstad.

Iowa firearms dealers will be able to sell suppressors or silencers beginning July 1. Governor Terry Branstad went to a gun shop in Grinnell on Thursday to sign legislation allowing Iowans to buy and sell the devices.

“We thought this would be an appropriate place to sign it. We invited a couple of other companies involved in the firearms business. It’s going to help grow jobs here in Iowa and it’s also going to preserve hearing. So, we think it’s a very good thing,” Branstad said.

Supporters of the legislation say the silencers greatly reduce the sound of a gunshot and help preserve the hearing of target shooters. Pete Brownell is president of Brownell’s, the Grinnell-based business where the bill-signing ceremony was held. “We see it as…having the ability to completely fulfill anything that a customer may want,” Brownell said. “We think the sales of our shotguns and pistols will be the dominant products moving through this.”

The Hearing Protection Act passed both the House and Senate by wide margins. Branstad noted that Iowa is the 42nd state to legalize the use and sale of suppressors. Another gun-related bill that cleared both the House and Senate last 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. Branstad has expressed support for that legislation as well.

(Thanks, Chris Johnson, KGRN, Grinnell)