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In wake of North Liberty shooting, sheriff blames Iowa’s “inflexible gun permit law”


This news story was published on March 12, 2013.
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NORTH LIBERTY – In the wake of a shooting Sunday in a small Iowa town just north of Iowa City, a sheriff is blaming Iowa’s “inflexible gun permit law” for a gun ending up in the hands of the shooter.

The Des Moines Register has reported that Johnson County Sheriff Lonny Pulkrabek commented on the Sunday shooting in North Liberty and the Iowa gun law that forbids sheriffs from denying gun permits to most people, saying that the incident “illustrates the dangerous inflexibility of Iowa’s law granting gun permits.”

Iowa sheriffs used to be able to arbitrarily deny gun permits to citizens, until 2011’s “shall issue” law was passed.

The Register has reported that more than 148,000 people in Iowa have applied for a permit since the “shall issue” state law went into effect. About 620 permit applications have been denied; a 99.6% approval rating.

According to the Register, the shooter, Taleb Hussein Yousef Salameh, 28 – who was killed in a trailer park in North Liberty after shooting and inuring 3 law enforcement officers – was able to obtain a gun permit even though the University of Iowa voiced reservations about violence in the man’s past.

Salameh was able to obtain a gun permit after an Iowa City psychologist, Dr. Gregory Gullickson, sent a letter to Pulkrabek vouching for Salameh.

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15 Responses to In wake of North Liberty shooting, sheriff blames Iowa’s “inflexible gun permit law”

  1. citizen attesa

  2. Anonymous Reply Report comment

    March 13, 2013 at 9:01 am

    It’s amazing how quick everyone wants to blame someone or something. Did it ever occur to anyone that maybe he was just spiraling out of control and that he needed help? If he was ok mentally at the time of the approved gun permit then how could the psychiatrist or the sheriff know that this was going to happen? He obviously had a lot on his plate and there may be factors that we might not ever know. Everything always turns into a blame game and gun control issue. Maybe he just couldn’t deal with stuff going on at that point in his life!!!!!

  3. JB Johnson Reply Report comment

    March 12, 2013 at 9:16 pm

    also he had a letter from a shrink saying he was good to go. Why not blame the shrink if we are going to point fingers?

    • Anonymous Reply Report comment

      March 13, 2013 at 12:08 am

      Exactly, It sounds like there was a reason for him to have been denied but because of one psych doctor he was able to a gun. Mental health is a failure on many levels in Iowa.

  4. Anonymous Reply Report comment

    March 12, 2013 at 9:15 pm

    Maybe we should let the sheriff decide which elderly drivers should and should not have a drivers license. Or maybe dictate who is responsible enough to get a hunting license. This is a reactive, compared to proactive approach which is always WRONG!!!!! We are a LAZY society. Get with it.

    • another brick in the mall Reply Report comment

      March 13, 2013 at 5:17 am

      Well, we’re already letting the Sheriff play doctor because he knows what’s best for us because his high school diploma trumps your doctors medical degree. He teaches DARE and benefits from the drug war and so he knows more about medical marijuana than your doctor.

      If he can play doctor why can’t he play any role he wants?

    • teetotaler2 Reply Report comment

      March 13, 2013 at 7:05 pm

      Actually he can decide to take elderly’s license away. A city cop can. If you see an elderly person driving eraticaly you can call police and if they determine that driver incapable to drive they can take the privelage away.

  5. a citizen Reply Report comment

    March 12, 2013 at 7:37 pm

    “Iowa sheriffs used be able to arbitrarily deny gun permits to citizens.” Is that the same way nazis used to “arbitrarily” deny Jews the right to own businesses or the right to patronize a park in the 1930’s and 40’s? Or the way a resturant owner used to “arbitrarily” deny serving blacks in the early and middle 20th century? Arbitrarily denying and discriminating against walk very close together down a very slippery slope.

    • teetotaler2 Reply Report comment

      March 12, 2013 at 8:51 pm

      the sheriffs wanted to be able to deny permits to citizens they know are consistent law breakers, trouble makers or unstable. not just be able to deny willy nilly. i agree with the sheriffs. if we trust their judgement enough to elect them we should let them do their job. if they don’t do a good job or abuse their job then don’t re-elect them. they are merely looking out for the public safety. that’s their job.

      • Joao do Carmo Reply Report comment

        March 13, 2013 at 12:13 am

        Question No. 8 on the application to Carry Weapons in Iowa “Are you subject to a court order restraining you from harassing, stalking, or threatening your child or
        an intimate partner or child of such partner?”

        Question No. 9 “Have you ever been convicted in any court of a misdemeanor crime of domestic violence?”

      • Anonymous Reply Report comment

        March 13, 2013 at 12:47 am

        The reason the “Shall Issue” law was passed was because certain sheriffs were abusing their authority to give out permits. Instead of issuing on merit and legality they were issuing and denying on whether they liked you or not.
        @Joao do Carmo / The questions asked on the purchase forms are for federal use and are on a federal form. They are enforced federally and the results are not shared with state and local government in Iowa. State and local cops cannot enforce federal law unless there’s a corresponding state law anyway.

      • Joao do Carmo Reply Report comment

        March 13, 2013 at 4:20 am

        “The questions asked on the purchase forms are for federal use and are on a federal form. They are enforced federally and the results are not shared with state and local government in Iowa. State and local cops cannot enforce federal law unless there’s a corresponding state law anyway.”

        The questions I quoted are from the IOWA APPLICATION FOR PERMIT TO CARRY WEAPONS.

  6. Anonymous Reply Report comment

    March 12, 2013 at 4:57 pm

    This person was back in the ‘house’ after a protective order filed by the ‘girlfriend’ has lapsed. The reason for the protective order, so I read, was due to physical abuse. This abuse is called domestic assult and if filed/charged and prosecuted in most likely a successful manner the deceased would have been required to turned in his weapon as it would have been illegal for him to possess with a domestic assult charge. The police fail to mention this and to most likely see that this was the process followed. Instead, I see that they must have not pursued the domestic assult charge and because they possibly didn’t do their job we have dead and injured persons. More laws needed? Sounds like we need to enforce the ones we have!

    • teetotaler2 Reply Report comment

      March 12, 2013 at 9:00 pm

      if i’m understanding you correctly; if the girlfriend let him back in the house and the order had lapsed what’s to pursue? she shouldn’t have let him back in the house. in iowa if there are visible injuries the police are bound by law to arrest the abuser regardless of whether or not the victim wants to press charges.

      • Anonymous Reply Report comment

        March 13, 2013 at 12:03 am

        Yes, if domestic abuse is found to have happened than by Iowa State law it is a mandatory arrest. However, when the case is completed by the police department it is handed over to the county attorney for prosecution and this is where it might have been dismissed or pled down to something else like a simple assault or something. So if was dismissed or pled down than he would not be convicted of a domestic assault and wouldn’t have to hand over the weapons or if the weapons were taken when the incident happened then they would have to be given back to him.