Guns Rights Divide Candidates in Upcoming Iowa Senate Race

   09.29.16

Vying for a United States Senate seat in Iowa this fall are two farmers, Senate Judiciary Chairman Chuck Grassley, and former Lt. Gov. Patty Judge. Though each may be planting their own unique seed of hope, what is expected to grow from it varies very much by candidate.

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Republican Senator Grassley (above) has senate ties going back to 1980, and he’s been showing up every day since. Known for the longest record of not missing a vote, it is clear that when Grassley has an opinion, he shows up to act on it. This has proven useful to the gun community for which he has shown immense support over the years. Rated A+ by the NRA, Senator Grassley has been outspoken about gun rights, voicing his concerns about issues up to and including finding the right person to fill the current Supreme Court vacancy.

Other issues Senator Grassley has been willing to tackle head-on include voting to prohibit firearm confiscation during a state of emergency, something that his home state of Iowa as well as the rest of the country can appreciate. Equally important is his opposing stance on “assault weapon” legislation and standard-capacity magazine bans. Senator Grassley also supports national Right-to-Carry reciprocity legislation, and he opposed gun control laws for Washington, D.C. At one time he did attempt to pass a gun control measure that would bolster background-check funding, but it did not pass.

It's interesting that guns are a hot topic in the Iowa senate race, and a gun-toting farmer is shown on the state's seal.
It’s interesting that guns are a hot topic in the Iowa senate race, and a gun-toting man is shown on the state’s seal.

When questioned in the past about high-capacity magazine law changes in Colorado after the Aurora shooting, Grassley stated, “Tens of millions of these magazines have been lawfully owned in this country for decades. They are in common use, not unusually dangerous, and used by law-abiding citizens in self-defense, as in the case of law enforcement.”

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Ready to make a power move for the sake of this senate seat is former Lt. Gov. Patty Judge (above). Democratic candidate Judge has issued a call-to-action of sorts in the name of gun control. When a bill preventing the purchase of firearms by suspected terrorists was recently blocked, Patty Judge declared her support and the need to enact similar regulations. This bill in particular is not the only type of legislation she wishes to see go into effect; supporting expanding background checks is also part of her platform.

Also on Judge’s agenda are “assault weapons,” and she intends to support doing something to limit access to them. Although she is not opposed to hunting game animals, she has stated that the time to adopt tighter gun control is now. Judge has declared it’s also time to close “loopholes” that endanger the people of our country regardless of the NRA. At a fundraiser in Ames, Iowa, she stated that the NRA will come after her regardless, and that they cannot force silence on such issues any longer.

“Chuck Grassley’s refusal to hold confirmation hearings on the Supreme Court is unprecedented, and a prime example of putting politics before what’s best for the country,” Judge declared on her website. Following that statement is her support of Supreme Court nominee Judge Merrick Garland, who has a history of anti-gun rulings: “It’s past time for Chuck Grassley to do his job and give Judge Garland the hearing and vote he deserves.”

Despite Patty Judge’s anti-gun stance, it does seem as though her metaphoric guns are blazing when it comes to the firearms facing our country today. Should she nab the seat from Senator Grassley, it is almost guaranteed that gun control will be on her schedule.

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