DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — The Des Moines City Council is taking steps to ban high-capacity magazines and trigger devices that can make guns even more deadly, following a mass deadly shooting at a municipal building in Virginia.
The council unanimously voted Monday on a motion to draft ordinances that would ban extended magazines that hold more bullets than is standard and trigger activators such as bump stocks, the Des Moines Register reported. The city council is expected to have the ordinances drafted by July’s meeting.
“There is no reason for people to have high-capacity magazines or bump stocks,” Des Moines Councilman Josh Mandelbaum said. Mandelbaum didn’t specify the number of rounds in a magazine that would be considered high capacity.
A federal ban on gun stocks took effect earlier this year.
Mandelbaum noted the Virginia shooting hits close to home because it happened at a building similar to Des Moines’ municipal facilities.
“We have a unique ability to take action,” he said.
Two Polk County supervisors backed the idea of a ban.
“This has gotten way out of hand,” Polk County Supervisor Angela Connolly said.
Polk County Supervisor Matt McCoy said although state law prohibits supervisors from enacting gun control, he believes they can act on magazines and bump-stocks.
Councilman Chris Coleman pointed out that the city isn’t coming after every gun in town.
“We’re not trying to change your way of life,” Coleman said. “But we’re going to protect our citizens from mass shootings.”
The only voice of reason, Senator Jake Chapman questions legality of ban
Chapman said Iowa code expressly prohibits political subdivisions like cities and counties from adopting gun restrictions that conflict with state law.
Chapman said that magazines are a necessary part of a functioning gun, rather than accessories. He said the measures are a “false sense of security.”
“As I go back and read the code section … it’s clear they can’t do it, but that doesn’t stop them from breaking the law,” he said. “Just like speed limit doesn’t stop a speeder, the state code doesn’t stop them.”
Richard Rogers, who sits on the Iowa Firearms Coalition board of directors, said, “The intent of the legislation has been clear since 1990,” that only the state can regulate guns, “to prevent an unworkable patchwork of firearms laws.”
Rogers, also a lobbyist for the IFC, said the state code should be “clarified and strengthened.”
“We will oppose this should it go forward,” Rogers said.
Chapman said he expected the debate to be decided by the courts. He said he would introduce a bill to “clarify the language” if necessary.