Iowa State students respond to change in Iowa gun laws


After mass shootings occur across the country, Iowa pulls back on gun laws. 

Mallory Tope

The constitutional right to bear arms has been a long-debated topic; as Iowa signed its “constitutional carry” bill, many Iowans are concerned over the new bill. 

Beginning July 1, Iowa will join 16 other states allowing anyone to obtain and carry a concealed handgun without a permit.

According to Mack Shelley, chair of the political science department, there are two major sides in the argument over gun laws. 

Those in the business of selling, training and shooting range are of the perspective of “the more guns, the merrier,” Shelley said. 

“The opposite perspective is people who are worried about what is going to happen with all those guns; their concern is that anything that makes it easier for someone to get a gun isn’t good,” Shelley said. 

After the mass shootings in Colorado and Georgia, many Iowans are disheartened by the new bill. 

“With these mass shootings happening, we’ve seen the devastation of guns, and we haven’t necessarily seen the protections that guns supposedly provide,” Daniel Hayes, senior in political science and Student Government College of Liberal Arts and Sciences senator, said. 

Aura Garcia, a sophomore in sociology, echoed Hayes’ disapproval.  

“I think this was the wrong time for this law change,” Garcia said. “I think this is a message from Gov. Kim Reynolds that she doesn’t care about the rise of hate crimes towards Asian Americans and the safety of Iowans.” 

Hayes said he believes the new law is a step in the wrong direction and thinks more protections should be placed on obtaining a gun.

“Personally, it makes me feel less safe. I think carrying guns without a permit allows people to purchase a gun without proof of responsibility; there are certain things that it’s important to prove responsibility to obtain things, such as a car or credit card,” Hayes said. 

Garcia said she is disappointed in the new gun law change. 

“I think the new law should have made it harder to buy a gun,” Garcia said. “There is no need for someone to get a gun on the same day; there should be protocols and permits required to make such a dangerous purchase.”

Other Iowans think the bill is a good step in the right direction. 

“I am really excited about it; I think it was a great move by Reynolds to sign it,” said Laura Emery, a senior in financial counseling and planning and vice president of Young Americans for Freedom.  

Emery said this bill is a good step in the right direction to ease back regulations and restrictions on guns. 

With the new law, Iowans are not required to take a class to gain a permit, but like many other Iowans, Emery thinks people should consider taking a class. 

“Super important that people consider taking an orientation class or a class about concealed carry,” Emery said.

Some are concerned that Reynolds did not carefully consider the bill, rather, she used it for political gain. 

Shelley said her recent polling rates have not been “spectacular of late.” 

“Gun rights and the term constitutional right to guns is a big thing, especially for the Republican Party, which Kim Reynolds is a part of,” Hayes said. “So I think that it’s probably definitely more to gain public support amongst the Republican Party and to bolster a strong base of supporters.”