I really wish that that headline was sensational journalism, but that isn’t the case.
The Iowa House of Representatives passed a bill that would allow for children under the age of 14 to handle handguns with adult supervision.
According to The Huffington Post, the bill passed with a vote of 63-36 that would give kids permission to possess “a pistol, revolver or the ammunition.” Current Iowa law allows children of all ages to use shotguns and rifles with parental supervision but handguns have stood as an exception to the rule and lead to a felony if used by a child.
Rep. Jake Highfill, the sponsor of the bill, hopes to restore parents’ rights to choose whether or not their children can use pistols and hopes the law will correct “an injustice in Iowa code.”
“Allowing people to learn at a young age the respect that a gun commands is one of the most important things you can do,” Highfill told The Washington Post.
On the other side of the coin, some representatives find the idea of toddlers potentially using pistols difficult to swallow.
“We can’t legislate good parenting … but we can protect our children,” said Rep. Mary Mascher (D). “While most parents would not allow their 2-year-old to wield a revolver, we pass laws for those parents who lack the parenting skills needed to protect their own children,” Mascher said, citing seat belt, smoking and car seat laws.”
Second Amendment supporters in the state, such as Rep. Art Staed (D), have even come out and declared that this bill isn’t a gun rights issue but is, instead, one of public safety.
While the possibility of a five year old using a pistol may be jarring to some, there are clearly enough people in Iowa that feel they should have the right to do so. Some of the locals that showed up to support the bill were as young as 10 years old.
Meanwhile, Tamir Rice couldn’t walk down the street with a fake gun without being gunned down. But something makes me think this won’t happen in Iowa.
The next step is for the bill to go to the state Senate.
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