Western Iowa lawmaker softens stance on gun control - KTIV News 4 Sioux City IA: News, Weather and Sports

Western Iowa lawmaker softens stance on gun control after controversial comments

The Iowa Legislature begins the 2013 session. The Iowa Legislature begins the 2013 session.

One month ago, 20 students, and 6 teachers, died in the shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary school, in Connecticut. And, since then, gun control has made its way onto the agendas of lawmakers in all three Siouxland states.

Only one has suggested gun owners surrender semi-automatic weapons, which he believes, should be illegal.

Just three weeks after an interview, in which he advocated "radical changes" to Iowa's gun laws, Representative Dan Muhlbauer, of Manilla, has softened his stance, and now wants to look at all the options." Rep. Dan Muhlbauer, (D) Manilla says, "People need to have their guns."

That's what Democrat Dan Muhlbauer says today. But, three weeks ago-- in the wake of the Sandy Hook school shootings-- Muhlbauer was ready to ban semi-automatic weapons saying, "even if you have them, I think we need to start taking them." Rep. Dan Muhlbauer, (D) Manilla says, "It was an emotional time when I made that statement. Going back, as the grandkids are all around, and you'd do anything to protect your children. But, I'm all for the second amendment."

So is gunsmith Matt Windschitl, who serves alongside Muhlbauer in the Iowa House. Rep. Matt Windschitl, (R) Missouri Valley says, "Quite frankly, any type of gun control in the terms that people are using these days, is unconstitutional. It flies in the face of the 2nd amendment."

Windschitl, who works his family's gun store in Missouri Valley, says suggestions of a ban on guns, or those high-capacity magazines, puts the focus on the wrong thing. Rep. Matt Windschitl, (R) Missouri Valley says, "You can still inflict harm. It doesn't matter how many bullets you have in the magazine. If someone is intent on doing harm, they're going to do it whether you have a large magazine, or not."

Windschitl wants to shift that focus to the people who buy guns. Rep. Matt Windschitl, (R) Missouri Valley says, "What I'd like to see is more a focus on keeping firearms out of the hands of people  who shouldn't have them in the first place whether that be a criminal, a felon, or whether that be someone with a mental health issue."

Despite his fiery comments about firearms, last month, Muhlbauer now wants to wait for the recommendations from Vice President Joe Biden's task force. Rep. Dan Muhlbauer, (D) Manilla says, "It'll be very interesting to see what they do, what they come down with, so that we on the state level can respond."

Guaranteeing that gun control will be debated, if lawmakers are willing to "pull the trigger."

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