Shootouts could get a lot quieter in Iowa if a new bill ever becomes law. House lawmakers voted 83-16 last week to legalize the purchase of silencers for guns, but the state Senate is unlikely to consider it, the Examiner and Globe-Gazette report. In debating the measure, Republican Rep. Matt Windschit said it would "expand the freedom and liberty Iowans deserve" and protect them from the "danger of instant and irreparable hearing damage." But Democrats said it would provide "intimacy" for a mass murderer and make schools, theaters, and malls less safe.
Broad bipartisan support carried the bill, with urban Democrats logging the 16 "no" votes—even representatives in Cedar Rapids, where gun-range noise remains an issue. But the Democrat-controlled Senate sounds uninterested: "It is my plan not to take up any firearms legislation this year,” said Senator Rob Hogg, a Democrat. "I see nothing urgent about this." If the law ever does pass, Iowa will join 39 states that let private citizens use a silencer, 29 of them only for hunting. Other states are "diligently" organizing similar bills, says the Examiner; Georgia's Senate last week approved a bill allowing hunters to use silencers, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports.