Published: January 27 2014 | 12:08 pm - Updated: 29 March 2014 | 2:43 am in

Active military members could purchase a handgun without obtaining a permit under a bill that received bipartisan support from members in the Iowa House Monday.

House Study Bill 513 would exempt active members of the military from getting a permit to purchase a pistol or revolver. Two House Republicans and a Democrat supported and approved the legislation in subcommittee and is on its way to the House Veterans Affairs Committee. Iowa law requires anyone wanting to purchase a gun obtain a permit through the sheriff's office.  Law enforcement, gun dealers and some others are exempted from the required permit.

State Rep. Dwayne Alons, R-Hull, said the bill would level the playing field for military members living or serving in Iowa. He said 35 states have similar exemptions for active-duty members.

A similar bill that included veterans from having to obtain the permit failed last year. Alons said he thinks dropping the exemption for retired military members will help the legislation go further this session.

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