DES MOINES, Iowa — Gov. Kim Reynolds’ staff has blocked an Iowa agency’s move to regulate guns in child care centers, saying the effort needs more discussion and possible legislative action.
The Department of Human Services’ proposal requires guns present in child care centers, including those run in private homes, to be locked away and kept separate from ammunition. The regulations instruct child care centers to notify parents if a gun is kept on the premises and ban loaded guns in vehicles transporting the center’s children.
Reynolds said Tuesday that lawmakers should debate the issue instead of permitting administrators to implement rules, the Des Moines Register reported .
“I think we want to bring all stakeholders to the table,” said Reynolds. “We haven’t done that. We want to make sure that we’re looking at it from all perspectives, and then decide.”
Reynolds is a Republican who has supported gun rights groups.
A 2013 national survey conducted by the Early Learning Policy Group found Iowa is one of 12 states without regulations on guns in child care centers.
Mark Anderson, chairman of the Human Services Department’s advisory council, said the proposal seemed like common sense regulation.
“It just says you can’t have loaded, unsecured weapons when you’re watching other people’s children,” he said.
The rules were withdrawn during an Iowa Council on Human Services meeting on Dec. 13. The Department of Human Services also withdrew the proposal from being considered by the Legislature’s Administrative Rules Review Committee last week.
Republican Sen. Mark Chelgren of Iowa serves on the committee. He said policies of such magnitude should be decided by elected lawmakers, not administrators.
A spokesman for the Department of Human Services said they’ll re-consider whether the issue should be addressed in rules or through legislation.
Information from: The Des Moines Register, http://www.desmoinesregister.com