- Associated Press - Wednesday, April 1, 2015

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Lawmakers on Wednesday resurrected proposed sweeping changes to Iowa’s gun laws, including allowing children younger than 14 to use a handgun with a parent’s supervision.

The House Judiciary Committee voted 19-2 in support of a bill that would allow the use of suppressors to silence weapons. They also added an amendment with changes that mirrored a comprehensive gun bill that passed in the House in March but appeared dead in the Senate.

In a sign of compromise, a provision was kept off that would have removed a de factor three-day waiting period for a permit to acquire a handgun. Gun safety groups and lawmakers had argued it was a critical cooling period for suicidal individuals and abusers in domestic violence incidents.

“We’re going to give it another shot,” said Rep. Matt Windschitl, R-Missouri Valley, who led the original comprehensive bill and introduced the amendment. “In doing that, we’re going to once again try and find middle ground. This bill has been a collaboration from the beginning between law enforcement, (the) Second Amendment community, Iowans, legislators and many different parties.”

The Senate voted for the suppressors bill in its original form on Tuesday, following hours of debate originally aimed at adding some provisions of the larger bill. But that effort failed. The Judiciary Committee’s new additions mean the bill will survive a legislative deadline Friday and can be debated later this session.

Advocacy groups argue that allowing children to have handguns could lead to more gun accidents involving children. Supporters say parents should have the right to teach their children at a young age about gun safety.

Another provision would deny the public access to a database of names of people who have permits to carry a weapon. But in another sign of compromise, the amendment now says a person would be allowed under specific circumstances to request information on an individual about his or her status as a gun owner.

The new bill, which also includes language to streamline permit registrations and renewals, now heads back to the Senate. After Tuesday’s vote, Senate Majority Leader Michael Gronstal indicated he was not supportive of a bill that was similar to the comprehensive bill. It’s unclear if the compromises added Wednesday would change his mind.

Sen. Steven Sodders, D-State Center, led the suppressors bill in the Senate and tried to add more changes, though he kept the age limit for children. He said his attempt Tuesday was the best common ground.

“We’re trying to get things done around here, we’re trying to move the ball forward,” he said. “The bill that we had before us (Tuesday) was the bill I believe moves the ball forward for gun owners and for law enforcement.”

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