For Immediate Release

January 4, 2024

(Croton Falls, NY)  Following a mass shooting incident earlier this morning at Perry High School in Perry, Iowa, where a 6th grade student was killed and five others injured (four students and one administrator), The Campaign to Keep Guns Off Campus’ Executive Director Andy Pelosi issued the following statement:

“As many students, teachers, staff, and administrators from around the country return to school to start the new year, we are confronted with yet another school shooting – this time in Iowa, where a 6th grader was killed and five others injured. We cannot permit shooting incidents in our educational spaces to be seen as normalized, nor should we allow our students, faculty, and staff to be traumatized again and again by such senseless shootings.

The Campaign commends local law enforcement and first responders for their swift reaction to the shooting incident that took place right before the school day had officially started. According to law enforcement, the 17 year old gunman, dead from an apparently self-inflicted gunshot wound, had in his possession a pump action shotgun and small caliber handgun. In addition, an improvised explosive device (IED) was found and disabled before it detonated. 

Why was a 17 year old carrying a pump action shotgun and handgun? 

Where did he obtain these weapons since Iowa law prohibits a 17 year old’s purchase or possession of such dangerous weapons?*

For the elected Iowa state officials in Iowa currently returning for the 2024 legislative session and are considering acting on guns on campus legislation in the Iowa State Senate (SF 543), we implore you: Do not pass this legislation. 

Please identify other ways in which to make our educational spaces safer.

Some of the most objectionable components of SF 543 include: 1) allowing guns to be stored in cars on the grounds of public K-12 schools and other public buildings; 2) and in school vehicles carrying students if the school has a policy of allowing staff to carry guns; 3) prohibiting insurers  from refusing coverage to school districts where the district’s policy to allow armed school staff. 4) community colleges and the three public universities would be prohibited from adopting policies that forbid people from carrying or keeping guns in a locked personal vehicle on the school’s grounds.”

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*According to Giffords Law Center, generally, Iowa law prohibits any person from selling or transferring a long gun or ammunition for a long gun to a person who is under age 18. Iowa also prohibits any person from selling or transferring a handgun or handgun ammunition to a person under age 21.

The Campaign to Keep Guns Off Campus works with K-12 schools, colleges and universities across the country to oppose legislative policies that would force loaded, concealed guns on campuses. Since 2008, The Campaign to Keep Guns Off Campus is the only national organization of its kind tasked with protecting higher educational institutions and the communities they serve. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Contact: Andy Pelosi, The Campaign to Keep Guns Off Campus (914-629-6726) [email protected]

Photo: By Richc80 – Own work, CC BY 3.0