Republican Iowa State Rep. Jeff Kaufmann, speaker pro tem of the Iowa State House, was caught joking on a hot mic that a proposal which would allow state residents to carry weapons in public without permission from a sheriff and without any training or a background check might better be called the “give-a-handgun-to-a-schizophrenic-bill.”
The Des Moines Register reports that the comment was caught on video during a discussion of House Study bill 219, the so-called “Alaska carry” legislation after a similar law in Alaska.
As the members discuss pulling Rep. Ron Jorgenson from leading debate on a controversial union collective bargaining bill, Rep. Erik Helland, jokes that he’s going to get stuck carrying the bill because he’s the “dirty hatchet man for the caucus” because he’s “expendable.”
When another lawmaker asks what the “Alaska carry” bill is, Kaufmann helpfully explains that it is “the crazy, give-a-handgun-to-a-schizophrenic bill” before someone informs them that the microphone is on.
“Rep. Kaufmann’s characterization of this bill and the entire conversation proves that even Republicans know HSB 219 is a dangerous piece of legislation that jeopardizes public safety,” Iowa Democratic Party Chairwoman Sue Dvorsky told the newspaper.
The bill sounds like the type of bill that the National Rifle Association promised to support when they wrote in January that they’d support legislation in Iowa which would “allow individuals who lawfully possess firearms—meaning individuals who are not federally prohibited from shipping, transporting, possessing, or receiving a firearm—to either open or conceal carry without a permit.”