Branstad to Fairgoers: No Need To Bring Guns

Aug 8, 2016

There are enough state troopers roaming the Iowa State Fairgounds, so fairgoers don’t need to bring in their own weapons to protect themselves.     

That’s from Governor Branstad, commenting on the current ban on fairgoers carrying loaded guns, even  for those with concealed weapons permits.

You really don't need your own firearm for your protection at the fair.

Branstad says he supports the right to carry.

“But I think the fairgrounds is a different situation because we have phenomenal coverage from the Highway Patrol at the fair,” Branstad said.    “It's not like another situation where there's no one with a firearm to protect against a violent act.” 

But Branstad stopped short of saying he would oppose any legislation allowing fairgoers to carry weapons.  

Iowa State Fair
Credit John Pemble/IPR

"I understand that there may be issues coming before the state legislature on that," Branstad says. "I'm just saying that I've gone to the State Fair for decades and decades and I just want to complement the Fair Board, the Department of Public Safety, and our state troopers.

“They do a phenomenal job," Branstad said.

A statehouse committee last week heard from gun rights advocates who favor lifting the ban.  

The prohibition is a State Fair policy that would require legislation to be overturned.   

Critics say they fear having hundreds of guns in the midst of large crowds, especially when some fairgoers are getting drunk.