On April 2, Everytown for Gun Safety released a poll weighted eight Democrats to five Republicans, but still found that Iowans support loosening laws to allow guns on campuses in the hands of “certified peace officers” and “volunteers.”
According to Everytown, 48 percent of respondents either support or strongly support the idea, while 44 percent oppose or strongly oppose it.
The poll is a reaction to pro-Second Amendment legislation pushed by Republican lawmakers in the state.
Breitbart News previously reported that one piece of legislation focused on repealing the permit-to-purchase requirement for Iowans buying pistols and revolvers. Iowans with a permit-to-purchase have to go through a background check annually to keep the permit up to date. That permit then allows them to buy guns without any extra background checks through the year.
In light of this, state Rep. Matt Windschitl (R-Missouri Valley) explained that the repeal of a permit-to-purchase would actually force Iowans to go through a background check more often than they currently do, inasmuch as they would have to go through a background check every time they purchase a gun from a gun store–which could be numerous times each year.
Yet Windschitl supports repealing the permit-to-purchase system because he fears it requires Iowans to get a document from the government before they can exercise Second Amendment rights.
The Everytown poll misrepresented Windschitl’s intentions, carefully wording and asking questions about repealing background checks for handguns altogether.
For example, here is how Everytown worded its question:
Iowa currently requires criminal background checks for all handgun sales. But: There is a proposal in the Iowa legislature to repeal that background check requirement. How do you feel about that? Do you … strongly support? Support? Oppose? Or strongly oppose … repealing the current criminal background checks system for handgun sales?
This question–which is also a statement of Everytown’s preferred interpretation of Windschitl’s bill–garnered the following responses: 29 percent of respondents support or strongly support the idea, while 68 percent of respondents oppose or strongly oppose.
The makeup of the “ideology” of the respondents was along similar lines: 28 percent conservative versus 68 percent moderate or liberal.
Of those who participated in the Everytown survey, “13 percent” are not “registered to vote in the state of Iowa.”
Follow AWR Hawkins on Twitter @AWRHawkins. Reach him directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.