A bill that would make confidential the names and addresses of people with nonprofessional permits to carry weapons, as well as those with permits to acquire pistols and revolvers, may be a possibility for Iowa.

This bill, House File 81, was introduced on Jan. 29. Shortly after, on Jan. 30, a subcommittee was created for this bill.

State Rep. Matt Windschitl, of House District 56, introduced the bill and is part of the subcommittee, along with Dwayne Alons (R-Sioux County) and Mark Smith (D-Marshall County).

Recently, in other parts of the country, the Freedom of Information Act has been used to release gun owners’ information to the public.

Jeff Burkett, an executive branch lobbyist, explained the reasoning behind the bill. “We saw what happened out in New York when a large paper out there decided to take it upon themselves to not only publish that information but make it extremely easily accessible by mapping people’s houses,” Burkett said.

Burkett, as a part of the Iowa Firearms Coalition, declared support for the bill Feb. 14.

Burkett also went on to say that the bill was created in a way so that information regarding weapon and permit holders isn’t completely confidential. 

Statistics and other general information would still be able to be published. The bill was created to protect individuals.

“We’re working to write the bill in a balanced manner that’s going to allow reasonable information to be released to the public without potentially causing problems for individuals,” said Burkett

Carlos Jayne, representative of Iowans For Gun Safety, first declared himself against the bill but on Jan. 30 changed his declaration to undecided.

Jayne changed his declaration on this bill due to his concerns falling more heavily on other bills, which he found to be of greater importance.

Regarding the bill, Jayne said, “I don’t know what it would do to make public the names of the people having concealed weapons, as far as what it would do for gun violence, or to help end gun violence.

“We have decided to be undecided and to let the legislature do what they will,” Jayne said. 

Like any bill, House Bill 81 won’t be passed quite with ease, but according to Burkett and Jayne, the bill should pass through the Senate easier than the House. 

The greatest concern for the bill includes if it will coincide with Freedom of Information Act. 

Supporters of the bill mostly include gun safety groups and law enforcement.

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