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Letters to the editor: New Iowa and U.S. gun policies threaten public safety

The 2017 legislative session brought sweeping changes with the passage of what some have called the most comprehensive pro-gun bill in Iowa’s history. Although a number of these changes are concerning to public safety proponents, two fundamental pieces of regulation have been retained under the gun omnibus bill—background checks and permit to carry. These measures are critical to saving lives—data show that states that require background checks on all handgun sales have 47 percent fewer women shot to death by intimate partners, 47 percent fewer suicides by gun and 53 percent fewer law enforcement officers shot and killed in the line of duty. Similarly, research shows that states that weaken their permit systems and limit the ability of law enforcement to deny permits to dangerous individuals see a 13-15 percent increase in violent crime. In short, these two policies are a critical part of maintaining public safety and reducing gun violence. […]

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