Branstad says gun law changes unlikely in Iowa

Published on NewsOK Modified: January 18, 2013 at 12:30 pm •  Published: January 18, 2013
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DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Gov. Terry Branstad says he doesn't expect to see any significant changes to Iowa's gun laws.

Speaking Friday during a taping of the 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 bulling 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 both sides of this."

President Barack Obama this week proposed a major overhaul of the nation's gun laws, including renewing 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.

In Iowa, Republican lawmakers in the House approved gun legislation last year that would allow people in Iowa to use deadly force to protect themselves and the other called for writing gun rights protections into the Iowa Constitution. But the legislation never made it through the Democratic-controlled Senate. Republicans have pledged to try to win passage of those proposals again this year.