Iowa Senator Joni Ernst is a national darling of the NRA’s effort to eliminate any and all meaningful gun safety laws that might keep children like those at Parkland, Florida from getting blown to pieces on a regular school day. Ernst received over $3.1 million in financial support from the NRA, the seventh-most of any senator, according to an analysis of campaign spending last October. Money from the gun rights organization poured into Iowa to help her get past the finish line in her race for Senate against Bruce Braley in 2014.
The NRA got what they paid for with Ernst, who then voted last February to stop a new rule that would have kept the mentally ill from obtaining guns through the background check system. Ernst voted in favor of House Joint Resolution 40, which sought to overturn a recent decision for the National Instant Criminal History Background Check System that would have kept people who considerable mental health issues from obtaining weapons. Both the House and Senate passed the resolution, and President Donald Trump signed it in February 2017.
The new rule would have added about 75,000 people to the background check list that have been otherwise deemed unfit to handle their own finances due to mental illness. Ernst preferred to guns into the hands of people who had such serious mental health issues that they couldn’t even legally handle their own personal finances.
Shortly after the massacre in Las Vegas, Ernst also expressed her concern over the legality of the kind of bump stocks that were used in the mass shooting. Nothing has been accomplished on that front.
Senator Ernst, a first-term Republican, is up for reelection in 2020.
by Pat Rynard