Randy Forsyth went back into his office Friday to find an unusually large stack of paperwork waiting for him.

He had 50 permits for carrying a weapon on his desk, waiting his approval. That is in addition to 100 permits already submitted to the Benton County Sheriff at the beginning of 2011.

“In our county, we have people renew their permits on their birthdays, so most of these permits will be new ones,” said Forsyth.

For the sheriff, the new law does not represent that big of a change.

“Benton County has basically been a ‘shall issue’ county for several years,” said Forsyth, who said that he has only turned down two applications in the past several years.

While the sheriff has a couple of concerns about loopholes in the law – concerning the requirements for training, as well as some of the state regulations governing eligibility – over all he said the changes are no big deal.

And if the people who were turned down for a permit would apply for one again, Forysth said he would probably turn them down again. Only this time, he would have to do so in writing, and the applicants could appeal his decision.

Gun bans in banks, county offices

Forsyth said many people have been calling his office to ask about business owners setting policies prohibiting weapons in their buildings. Since the new law went into effect, some stores and banks have put up signs advising customers that weapons are not allowed on the premises.

“And those people certainly have the right to say they do not want weapons in their buildings,” said the sheriff. Customers, he said, must honor those policies.

The Benton County Supervisors will discuss local ordinances concerning the carrying of weapon on county property during their meeting Tuesday.

“The judges would like to see weapons kept out of the courthouse, and obviously we would like to see them kept out of our jail,” said Forsyth.

Also, said Forsyth, while the new Iowa law allows guns virtually everywhere, older laws governing hunting prohibit certain types of guns from use in hunting. Hunters will have to be careful to follow those regulations, he said.

One concern Forsyth said that he has is about the change in the training requirements. Under the old system, the Sheriff’s Office knew who was training those with gun permits, he said. Some sheriffs in Iowa have said that the new law allows a person to receive a license for a gun without having actually fired that weapon in a training setting.

"I have heard -- and I don't know that it's true but I have been told -- that in some places, people simply pay their training fee but don't actually take the course.



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Comments (8)

Nice positive article.
By: Dave C. on January 8th 8:55pm
Why has our government approved such lack luster laws to be passed when there are so many shootings going on everywhere. We dont allow someone to smoke in public yet we allow people to carry guns every where in this country. Where are our priorities going in this country?
By: Theressa Blohm on January 8th 11:34pm
This ridiculous new law demonstrates the success of the "fear and loathing" campaign championed by the conservative ideologs in this country. If this law is not repealed, we will have retreated, tails tucked between our legs, to 1880's and the might makes right mentality of the old west. Wake up Iowa! We are know better. We must lead, boldly, to a safe and prosperous future where guns are just for the few who hunt legally or law enforcement. We cannot follow the "crazies" who think that an well armed citizenry
By: Smith W. on January 9th 1:07pm
If I were a Sheriff, anti-gun or not, and I heard about this I wouldn't tip my hand. I would do everything I could to locate the source and get someone I trusted lined up to investigate it. I am unimpressed by the lack of professionalism in Iowa Law Enforcement over the last few weeks. They are elected to get a job done, not to act like politicians with an agenda. Starting rumors, promoting extra-legal restrictions (like suggesting people post signs against carry of weapons), dragging their feet to frustrate the process... it sounds more like Junior High. Public officials should know better than to spread rumors.
By: Tyler Durden on January 10th 4:23pm
"I have heard -- and I don't know that it's true but I have been told -- that in some places, people simply pay their training fee but don't actually take the course."

I think we can all look forward to this investigation going forward and charges being filed! If not, we should know why. This type action MUST NOT be tolerated.

By: GunMan on January 10th 7:01pm
"I have heard -- and I don't know that it's true but I have been told -- that in some places, people simply pay their training fee but don't actually take the course."

I personally would have had more respect for this statement if it was backed with facts, and not simply perpetuating a potentially false rumor. Please investigate, find proof, and bring them to justice...merely gossiping tarnishes the credibility of the office.
By: Dougs715 on January 10th 9:23pm
Law Abiding Citizens have been issued weapons permits for as long as I've been alive. Now that the process is standardized across Iowa some how this is crazy?

Except in cities like Chicago (where guns are illegal) violent crime is down while gun ownership and gun rights are on the rise.

The only bad thing on the rise in Iowa is the hysteria from the liberal left.
By: Law Abiding Vintonian on January 11th 2:46pm
It's a great law. I have one submitted already. Put the guns in GOOD hands. For those against I'll make sure I keep walking while you are getting mugged. Bad guys will ALWAYS have guns. So if you take away guns from GOOD people what is left????????
By: Sign Me Up on January 27th 11:59am

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