AP NEWS

Iowa House OKs bill requiring costly moves in gun-free zones

February 27, 2020 GMT

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Local governments would be required to install a metal detector or armed guard at entrances to any government-controlled building that prohibits firearms under a bill approved Thursday by House Republicans.

The bill pushed by gun rights advocate Rep. Steven Holt passed 52-44 with only Republican votes.

He argued that gun-free zones prohibit him and other legal gun carriers from protecting their families from shooters.

Groups representing cities and counties opposed the bill because of the giant cost of hiring guards or installing equipment at city halls, libraries, courthouses and other public buildings where guns aren’t allowed.

“This statewide mandate is an assault on local control and it is an insult to our local elected officials,” said Democratic Rep. Timothy Kacena, a retired firefighter from Sioux City.

Republican House Majority Leader Matt Windschitl said the proposal “balances both the public safety aspect as well as the individual liberties and individual fundamental right to keep and bear arms.”

The bill also prohibits the state judicial branch or supreme court from prohibiting guns in courthouse areas outside courtrooms or court offices. And, it would prevent local governments from limiting the location or operation of gun shooting ranges.

The bill advances to the Senate.