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Culver To Sign Concealed Weapons Measure

Gov. Chet Culver said Monday that he plans to sign into law a measure overhauling the way concealed weapons permits are issued.

Currently, those seeking a permit to carry a concealed weapon must apply with their local sheriff, who has broad discretion on whether to grant the permit.

The measure Culver intends to sign would require sheriffs to issue permits to applicants who meet a set standard. It allows sheriffs to reject an application only for a list of specific reasons, such as being a convicted felon or convicted domestic abuser, being declared mentally incompetent or being addicted to drugs or alcohol.

The Democratic governor said he plans on signing the measure on Thursday, the final day he has to act on legislation approved by lawmakers this year.

“I’ve always been a strong supporter of the Second Amendment,” Culver told The Associated Press in an interview. “The people have spoken very loudly. It’s probably been running 10 to one in e-mails and calls in favor of signing this bill.”

Critics argue the current system essentially creates 99 sets of standards for issuing the permits, and it isn’t fair to those seeking to carry a weapon. Supporters say local sheriffs are closest to their communities and are in the best position to know who can be trusted to carry a concealed weapon.

The measure pitted the National Rifle Association, which favored the bill, against the organization representing county sheriffs, which lobbied Culver to veto the measure.

The measure requires those seeking concealed weapon permits to get training to ensure they know how to handle the weapon. That training must be updated every five years.

The measure also overhauls the appeals process for those denied a permit. Currently, the appeal has to go to district court, a costly process usually requiring a lawyer. The measure Culver plans to sign allows the appeal to go to the Department of Inspections and Appeals, a much quicker and cheaper process.

Culver said the bottom line is that those seeking a permit will face the same standards, regardless of where they live.

“This is really more about fairness,” he said.-[source]

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