Influential Iowa state senator opposes red flag gun laws

August 8, 2019 GMT

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — An influential Iowa Republican legislator says he opposes gun legislation that would allow authorities to take firearms away from people deemed a threat to themselves or others.

Sen. Jake Chapman said Thursday he will oppose efforts to pass so-called red flag legislation in Iowa despite national support for such a move by President Donald Trump and Iowa U.S. Sen. Chuck Grassley. Congressional proposals would provide money to states to implement such laws.

Chapman, an assistant majority leader, says it violates the concept of innocent until proven guilty by forcing people who lose their gun rights to prove to a judge they’re competent. He says it would deny law-abiding gun owners due process rights.

The Iowa Legislature under Republican leadership has significantly loosened gun restrictions in recent years.

Chapman says increased mental health care is a better answer but added sometimes there’s little government can do to stop someone intent on harming others.