Iowa Legislature Debates Giving Handguns to Children | NBC New York
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Iowa Legislature Debates Giving Handguns to Children

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    AP
    Rep. Kirsten Running-Marquardt, D-Cedar Rapids, left, and Rep. Curt Hanson, D-Fairfield, wait to be escorted to their seats during the opening day of the Iowa Legislature, Monday, Jan. 11, 2010, at the Statehouse in Des Moines, Iowa.

     "We do not need a militia of toddlers."

    Those were the words of Iowa State Representative Kirsten Running-Marquardt, on the floor of the legislature in Des Moines last week.

    She was responding to proposed changes to state gun laws that currently restrict children under the age of 14 from using handguns.

    The reaction to the changes — which would allow children of all ages to handle deadly weapons with adult supervision — was intense and immediate, as Iowa entered the national debate over gun control last week, with supporters championing the new law as a common-sense measure that would encourage safe handling of firearms.