Despite Iowa’s status as a “may issue” state for concealed weapon permits and the state’s relatively low violent crime rate, the national Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence still ranks us 17th on its yearly report tracking “sensible gun laws” across the country. The activist group’s tracking scorecards came out Wednesday.

Iowa got 16 points out of 100, whereas California got 79 points. Nearly 20 points of California’s total come from its requirement that ALL gun sellers, even private ones, are required to do a background check before they sell a gun to someone. People are also limited to buying one handgun a month there, another 10 points. The latter requirement seems punitive to law-abiding citizens who happen to like guns (along with a few other gun laws the Brady Campaign touts as “sensible”), but having what’s called a “universal background check” law seems like a good idea. I mean, what’s the use of required licensed gun dealers to do background checks when private sellers don’t have to? How is that keeping guns off the street?

Iowa’s score was the highest in the Midwest, save for Illinois. Well, Iowa’s safer, so we still win.

You can read the Brady Campaign’s news release, report and all scorecards here.

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