On Tuesday, the Iowa House of Representatives passed a bill allowing children "a person under 14 years of age to possess a pistol or revolver" with parental supervision, 62-36.
Now, it's headed to the State Senate, where—if it passes—a bill will, as Schoolhouse Rock infamously declared, become a law, unless it's vetoed by Governor Terry Branstad, who recently stated that it was not the right time to talk about gun control. America!
The current state law has no restrictions on children using long guns or shotguns under a parent’s supervision but prohibits them from using handguns.
State Rep. Jake Highfill (R) said the new bill, which passed 62-36, “brings the code in line with long guns and shotguns” by allowing them to possess a firearm under direct supervision from a parent or legal guardian.
It defines “direct supervision” as “supervision provided by another person who maintains visual and verbal contact at all times with the supervised person.”
Theoretically, then, under this law, a baby can legally carry a gun, as long as someone 21 or older is supervising. Kirsten Running-Marquardt, a Democratic State Rep, fears this very future.
"What this bill does, the bill before us, allows for 1-year-olds, 2-year-olds, 3-year-olds, 4-year-olds to operate handguns," Running-Marquardt told CBS Iowa. "We do not need a militia of toddlers. We do not have handguns that I am aware of that fit the hands of a 1- or 2-year-old."
Republican State Rep. Jake Highfill told the Post that he thinks "the government should not be involved with" deciding whether babies can or cannot possess a gun.
Michael Rosen is a reporter for Fusion based out of Oakland.