WASHINGTON, D.C. — The calls for gun reform continue to grow in the wake of several mass shootings and acts of gun violence in the last month.
The United States House of Representatives passed a bill aimed at gun safety and age requirements. The bill would raise the purchase age for semi-automatic weapons from 18 to 21. It would also ban high capacity ammunition magazines, along with allowing firearms to be removed from an individual’s possession who are a risk to themselves or other people.
U.S. Congresswoman Cindy Axne from Iowa’s third district voted for the bill and released a statement on Thursday:
“We’ve seen too many horrors unfold in recent weeks – from children and teachers shot and killed at an elementary school in Texas to two young women tragically gunned down in a church parking lot here in Iowa. These types of shootings have been unaddressed for far too long and it is past time for Congress to act on common sense gun legislation. I cast my vote along with a bipartisan majority this week to protect our children and our communities by preventing teens and at-risk individuals from getting their hands on semi-automatic weapons, and restricting bump stocks and high capacity magazines. The Senate must act now to keep Americans safe.”U.S. Congresswoman Cindy Axne
Democrats are focused on restricting access to firearms for the younger population as part of their gun reform agenda. But that bill is unlikely to make it through the Senate as Republicans are wanting to focus on school security, with Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley joining other Senate Republicans on Thursday to announce the “Safe Schools Act”. The bill would allow school districts to use the federal COVID-19 dollars to strengthen security at school.
“I would like to build on a program by the Secret Service where they have experts that can teach people how to recognize somebody that is a threat to society,” Senator Grassley (R) told reporters on Wednesday. “I would like to work that program into our schools, now that is not a gun bill it is a school safety bill.”
Grassley added that there is conversations going on between Senate Democrats and Republicans to try to come up with an agreement on gun reform. What that bill would look like is not yet known.
A local gun shop manager reacted to the House bill that passed on Wednesday.
“In terms of raising the age of semi-automatic rifles, at least what we see with our customer base, these are a lot of people who are using these things for hunting with their Dad or Grandpa in the state,” said Ethan Settle, the store manager at Crossroads Shooting Sports in Johnston. “So changing the law or any of these proposed changes I see as an infringement on the 2nd amendment.”
Settle added that he would be against any type of gun restrictions, saying that it attacks citizen’s unalienable rights.