Republicans in the Iowa House have passed a bill that would let Iowans buy guns and carry concealed weapons without getting a state permit to do so. Local State Representative Wes Breckenridge of Newton was the only Democrat to vote for the legislation. He did not speak during the 4 1/2 hour debate on the bill. House Republican Leader Matt Windschitl  says the bill is for Iowa’s Second Amendment community.

The House Democrats opposed to the bill claim it would create a clear loophole to allow PRIVATE gun sales in Iowa without a background check. Republican Representative Steven Holt of Denison says the bill establishes a felony for those who know or should have known a prospective gun buyer was not allowed to own a gun.

Holt also says there would be federal background checks if someone who doesn’t have a state permit tries to buy a gun at a LICENSED dealer. Representative Mary Wolfe, a Democrat from Clinton, says getting rid of the state permit to carry a concealed weapon also does away with the required training session that goes along with the permitting process.

The bill would make permits optional, however bill backers say some Iowans would still get a concealed weapon permit to show when traveling in states where permits are required. After four-and-a-half hours of debate, the bill passed shortly after 11 o’clock. Senators have been working on similar legislation.