DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – Officials voted to declare two Iowa counties as Second Amendment sanctuaries where no laws impeding gun rights can be enforced, joining similar efforts across the country and coming even as Iowa has significantly relaxed gun regulations.
Jasper County Republican Supervisors unanimously approved a resolution Tuesday, and Hardin County Republican Supervisors did the same on Wednesday, becoming the first counties in Iowa to implement such measures.
Elsewhere in the United States, at least 1,200 local governments have declared themselves isolated sanctuaries of federal and state gun laws since 2018, when high-profile mass shootings prompted calls for tighter regulations. An order passed last year in Columbia County, Oregon, is the first to face a court challenge over whether it can be enforced.
The Iowa Resolutions say county supervisors want to ensure that citizens’ rights are protected against state or federal law.
The Jasper County resolution states that federal and state lawmakers cannot be solely reliable in protecting the rights of individuals to the Second Amendment and that any legislation or ordinance of a federal or state legislature or executive that violates the constitutional rights to firearms “Will not be enforced by any person employed by the Jasper County Sheriff’s Office or any other Jasper County employee.” “
“Hopefully it will never be necessary” Supervisor Doug Cupples said.
Supervisor Brandon Talsma declared the Second Amendment âHas been attacked many times and we wanted to make it clear that Jasper County will stand up for the civil liberties of its citizens. “
Iowa is one of several Republican-led states that have passed laws allowing the carrying of firearms without permission. The law that came into effect on July 1 also eliminates the requirement that people must pass background checks to obtain permits to purchase handguns at sales outside of those made by authorized dealers. federal government.
Data from the Iowa Department of Public Health shows gun deaths increased in the state before the new law was passed.
A record 353 Iowa residents died from gunshot wounds in 2020, including 263 suicides and 85 homicides, according to public health data. Gunshot deaths represent a 23% increase from Iowa’s previous record of 287 in 2019, including an 80% increase in homicides.
In Hardin County, about 65 miles northeast of Des Moines, seven people spoke out on the issue Wednesday morning. Four men supported the measure, one fearing the federal government would take away his rights and another saying he “limit how far the government can go.”
Two women opposed the resolution.
“It’s just a political play that throws red meat at a certain group of voters that you want to keep their attention on so that they vote because they are the group least likely to vote,” said Julie Duhn. “Do any of your supervisors really think there will be legislation to take everyone’s guns?” It’s ridiculous.
Fear of regulations eroding gun rights comes as Democrats in Congress make a new push to enact the first major new gun control laws in more than two decades – starting with audits of guns. stricter track record. However, adoption seems unlikely as the legislation would likely need bipartisan support.
President Joe Biden called on Congress to strengthen gun laws, including requiring background checks on all arms sales and banning assault weapons.
A group advocating for tighter gun control said local politicians and law enforcement officials lack the ability to decide which laws they apply.
âOur leaders should focus on common sense gun safety protections that will keep our communities safe, instead of refusing to enforce public safety laws that make a real difference.â said Traci Kennedy, section chief of the Iowa chapter of Moms Demand Action.