Should Iowa’s registered sex offenders be allowed to carry weapons in public?
- Yes, vigilantism happens all the time, and they should have the right to carry a weapon to protect themselves just like everybody else.
In Sunday’s Des Moines Register and at DesMoinesRegister.com, learn how many sex offenders across the state have permits to carry guns.
And see what state lawmakers and law enforcement officers, including an FBI official, said after learning how many of Iowa’s convicted sex offenders have weapons permits.
- Oh I'm sure they freaked out and got their panties in a wad!
Not everyone agrees on the question of whether sex offenders should be allowed to obtain gun permits and carry weapons in public. Some university researchers believe that “there’s no blanket way of stating that sex offenders are more dangerous than everybody else.”
[name withheld], 26, of Dubuque, also wants people to know that he has the constitutional right to carry guns despite being listed on Iowa’s sex offender registry.
“You should not take your rights for granted,” [name withheld] said. “Stand up for your rights. Don’t be afraid to fight for your rights and make them known.”
[name withheld], 26, is on the registry from an incident that took place when he was 17, according to state records. He said that while mushroom hunting, he was caught masturbating by a 12-year-old girl who asked what he was doing. He said he replied with a flippant comment that he didn’t really mean: “Why don’t you get on your (explicative) knees and take care of this matter.”
“Should that have been said? No, but at the same time, I don’t sit here lurking around the corner trying to find a 15-year-old kid,” [name withheld] said. “Ever since then I’ve been more of wanting to make sure they’re 18 or whatever when I talk to them and if I have doubts, I just don’t talk with them.”
The criminal complaint against [name withheld] outlines three times when he allegedly solicited sex from the girl. In one situation, he allegedly grabbed the girl’s hand and rubbed his penis with it. At another time he allegedly held her down on the bed and later offered to buy her dinner if she agreed not to talk. [name withheld] was convicted in 2005 on a charge of assault with the intent to commit sexual abuse — an aggravated misdemeanor.
- So was he charged with the "offenses" you mentioned? If not, then they are irrelevant!
He was granted his permit to carry a weapon in February 2011, shortly after Iowa’s “shall issue” law took effect. He said he has hunted since early childhood, and now he generally carries a handgun with him wherever he legally can, largely for protection from anyone who might wish to do him harm, he said.
[name withheld]’s handgun was loaded and cocked but had its safety on when he pulled the weapon from a holder in his waistband to show a Register reporter and photographer. He said he did draw the weapon once on a man he believes was homeless because, he said, the man was intent on harming him. The man put his hands up and backed away and nobody was injured in the incident, he said.
“I’d prefer to have seen him dead, in my opinion,” [name withheld] said.
- That is not the kind of attitude you should be showing in a news report, or you might find your right gone simply based on your own words!
Dubuque County Sheriff Don Vrotsos said he wouldn’t have issued the permit to [name withheld] but, by law, was required to since his conviction is not a felony.
“I have to do what the law tells me to do,” Vrotsos said. “If it was up to my discretion, I would say no.”
- That is why police and the general public doesn't make laws. If they did, nobody would have any rights.