DES MOINES (AP) — Gov. Terry Branstad said he doesn't expect to see any significant changes to Iowa's gun laws.
Speaking Friday during a taping of the Iowa Public Television program “Iowa Press,” Branstad stressed his support of the Second Amendment. He said violence in schools would be addressed through anti-bullying programs and his effort to reform the state's mental health system.
“I believe in protecting individual rights,” Branstad said. “I also think the issues of violence in the schools can best be addressed by things like the bullying prevention summit that we had and the reform that we're doing of the mental health system to try and identify and help people with mental problems.”
Branstad doubts Iowa's gun laws will change significantly, even though “there are people who feel strongly on both sides of this.”
President Barack Obama this week proposed a major overhaul of the nation's gun laws, including resurrecting a ban on assault weapons, limiting high-capacity ammunition magazines and requiring background checks for all gun buyers. His proposal came after a gunman killed 20 children and six adults last month at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn.
Representatives in the Iowa House, where Republicans hold a 53-46 majority, indicated they have plans to bring back gun-rights measures that failed last year and craft new legislation in response to Obama's initiatives.
But a key state senator said the bills don't have a chance in the Iowa Senate, where Democrats have a 26-24 edge.
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