Top Iowa Democrats Say Spirit Lake Schools’ Gun Plan Is Devastating

Spirit Lake, Iowa — The Iowa Democratic Party’s chairman says Republicans at the statehouse have put Iowa gun laws on a downward spiral — leading to the plan to have 10 Spirit Lake School staff carry guns on school grounds.

Spirit Lake officials announced this week that staff with permits for concealed weapons would be trained to quickly respond to a shooting in Spirit Lake schools, however, teachers will not have guns in classrooms. Iowa Democratic Party chairman Ross Wilburn is also a state representative from Ames and he has voted against allowing guns in Iowa schools.


Senator Herman Quirmbach of Ames is the top Democrat on the Senate Education Committee.


Deidre DeJear, the Democratic candidate for governor, was in Spirit Lake Wednesday and DeJear says she talked with people who were devastated by the district’s decision.


Last year, Governor Kim Reynolds signed a bill into law that lets Iowans buy and carry handguns without a permit. DeJear, who has a permit to carry a concealed weapon, says she’d reinstate the permit process. She says that way background checks would be required for private gun sales in Iowa. Spirit Lake school officials say the program to have armed staff on school grounds should serve as a deterrent to anyone contemplating a school shooting. The Iowa Firearms Coalition says Iowa children are worth protecting and the group is urging other Iowa districts to adopt Spirit Lake’s plan.

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