Dubuque City Council Considers Home Gun Sales Ban

By Katie Wiedemann, Reporter


By Katie Stinson

DUBUQUE, Iowa - An effort is underway in Dubuque to end the practice of selling guns in the home. Right now, people living in Dubuque can sell guns out of their homes, but only with a special permit.

So far the city has issued three of those permits. One other person applied, but was rejected.

Walter Henson sell gun out of his spare bedroom in Dubuque County. Because he lives outside the city limits, the Dubuque rules don't apply to him. Still he has a strong opinion.

"You're infringing on somebody's rights, and they let the federal government check them six ways from Sunday, it's probably not the person you need to worry about," Henson said.

On Monday night, several neighbors pleaded with the Dubuque City Council to prohibit gun sales in all Dubuque Neighborhoods.

"I realize everyone has a right to bear arms in this country, but not everyone has the right to commercially sell them in a residential neighborhood," ban supporter Bev Knockel said.

Others expressed fear of potential robbers knowing where to find firearms.

"If somebody wants to go into those homes, you're not going to stop them. No surveillance cameras. Nothing. And if they have the wrong address they are coming to my house, Dubuque resident Patricia Anderson said.

Home gun salesman Dan McNamer disagreed saying his business is safer than other neighborhood businesses.

"Selling guns from your home is way safer than a daycare is. I mean there's a lot more traffic at a daycare. Kids running out in the streets when their parents are picking them up," McNamer said.

The City of Dubuque says if the council bans home gun sales, the three current permit holders will be grandfathered in and still allowed to sell from their homes.

Back in Dubuque County, Henson's says it’s important to note the strict federal laws home gun salespersons must follow.

"They come in and look at my books. I have to produce every gun that is there. When they show up it's all gotta match up, " Henson added.

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