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Iowa Carry rally in Library Square Saturday

By Staff | Oct 2, 2009

Iowa Carry, an organization devoted to preservation of Second Amendment rights, will hold a rally noon Saturday in Library Square in Estherville. A free lunch will be provided.

According to Larry Walders, Iowa Carry Emmet County coordinator, Saturday’s rally is to acquaint local citizens with the concealed carry law in Iowa.

“There’s 99 counties and there’s 99 different policies,” Walders said.

Walders said a bill will be introduced in next year’s Iowa Legislature to change the law from stating that county sheriff’s “may issue” to “shall issue” concealed weapons permits to applicants. Walders said the legislation will provide that permits shall be issued provided an applicant does not present a public threat.

“This is more of a rally,” said Sean McClanahan, Iowa Carry president who will be at Saturday’s event. “The way it is in Emmet County isn’t the way it is in every other city.”

McClanahan said in Polk County where he resides an applicant takes required training and demonstrates responsibility before receiving a permit. Applicants also must undergo stringent background checks.

“We know that Emmet County is not quite that way,” McClanahan said.

McClanahan said he and other other Iowa Carry representatives will answer any questions about the permitting process.

“Awareness is the big thing that we’re trying to do,” McClanahan said.

McClanahan outlined five goals that Iowa Carry hopes to accomplish:

n The current may issue law will be changed to shall issue provided the applicant passes a background check and takes required training.

n Training would be the same throughout the state. “We want a standardized level of training throughout the state,” McClanahan said.

n An appeals process would be established for anyone denied a permit to carry.

n Reciprocity with other states would be pursued. McClanahan said currently Iowa doesn’t recognize permits from other states and the Iowa carry permit is good in only 13 other states.

n Privacy should be assured of those issued permits to carry a firearm, McClanahan said. He said in some instances people have obtained a permit to carry a concealed weapon because they have fled an abusive situation.

“No other bill that’s out there has all of these things,” McClanahan said.

McClanahan said those with permits to carry concealed weapons are among the least violent individuals there are. Due to required background checks, they are generally very law-abiding persons.

“It’s a fraction of a percent of people who have a permit revoked,” McClanahan said.