Iowa bill would let kids under 14 have handguns

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Parents and children in Iowa are lobbying for a bill that would allow minors to use handguns (KTRK)

A family with two 12-year-old girls is supporting a bill that would let minors use handguns in Iowa.

They girls have been shooting guns with their father since they were 5 years old. The girls and their dad have been lobbying the legislature to change the gun law for years, KCCI reports.

One of the girls said, "I really like shooting pistol because it's (easier) for me and I can just spend time with my dad."

Nathan Gibson, their father says it's about gun safety. "My daughter started learning at a young age how dangerous it can be. They got exposed to them."

The bill permits children of any age to use a gun as long as they are supervised by a parent or guardian. Currently Iowa state law bars children under the age of 14 from handling guns.

Legislators who opposed the bill say allowing children of any age to handle a lethal weapon is absurd because their brains aren't developed to handle the responsibility.

Iowa State Rep. Bruce Hunter, a Democrat, said, "That's why we have 49 kids getting shot every day in this country. That's why seven will die every single day in this country."

Rep. Kristin Running-Marquardt, a Democrat, said, "We do not need a militia of toddlers, we do not have handguns that fit the hands of 2-year-olds."

Despite some opposition, the bill passed the Iowa State House and now moves on to the Iowa State Senate where it's not expected to pass.

Republican Rep. Jake Highfill, who proposed the bill, said, "We want to make sure we turn power back to parents -- allow them to make the decision if they're children are ready or not, if they don't want to shoot or teach them gun safety, that's also their choice."
Related Topics:
u.s. & worldgun lawsgun controlsafetychildrenIowa
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