Iowa legalizes gun suppressors

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GRINNELL, Iowa (AP) — Gov. Terry Branstad has signed a bill into law that legalizes the use of gun suppressors in Iowa.

Branstad signed the bill Thursday, March 31, 2016 at a firearms supplier in Grinnell. It goes into effect immediately and makes Iowa one of at least 40 states to legalize the device, also known as a silencer. The legislation passed earlier this session 46-4 in the Senate and 78-21 in the House.

A suppressor is designed to silence or muffle the sound of a weapon that is fired. Supporters say it reduces potential damage to hearing. A gun safety advocacy group registered against the bill.

Suppressors are regulated by federal law. Iowa residents who purchase such a device will need to pass a background check and pay a fee, among other requirements.

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