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NEWS 7.1.21: IA Gun Law, SD Medical Pot Battle, Fireworks Injuries, and Midwest Economy Boost

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Iowa’s new permit-less gun law is in effect as of today. Iowans no longer need a permit to carry or purchase a handgun.

Sgt. Jeremy McClure is a spokesperson for the Sioux City Police Department.

“What hasn’t changed though is when you are carrying a concealed weapon, you can’t take them into schools, or certain businesses. And, you can’t have a gun if you are intoxicated. So, it’s important people know those laws before they carry a concealed weapon in Iowa.”

Iowans still have to get a background check when buying from a federally licensed gun seller. However, no permit or background check is needed to buy a handgun through a private sale. However, it is a felony for someone to sell the firearm to someone prohibited from having one.

South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem’s administration is guiding law enforcement officers not to honor Native American tribes’ medical cannabis identification cards if they are not issued to tribe members. The South Dakota Highway Patrol released the guidance just hours before the voter-approved medical marijuana law took effect Thursday. But it sets up a potential conflict between prosecutors and the Flandreau Santee Sioux Tribe. The tribe has set up the state’s first marijuana dispensary and plans to issue medical cannabis ID cards to people who are not tribal members, the Argus Leader reports. 

Fireworks injuries more than doubled in Iowa in the four years since a 2017 law legalized their sale and use by consumers, and more of them involve children and require amputation. Iowa Department of Public Health data shows emergency room visits stemming from fireworks-related injuries rose to an annual statewide average of 147 from 2017 through 2020. That's a 114% increase from the state average over the previous four years. A study this week from the state's two largest trauma centers, the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics and Iowa Methodist Medical Center in Des Moines, noted that children have been disproportionately affected by the increase and that more patients are requiring amputation.

A new monthly survey of business leaders suggests the economy continues growing at a strong pace in nine Midwest and Plains states. The overall index for the region crept up to 73.5 in June from May's already strong 72.3 reading. Any score above 50 suggests growth. Creighton University economist Ernie Goss said the region is expected to keep growing and return to pre-pandemic levels early next year.  Business leaders said supply delays are causing problems in manufacturing and high inflation remains a concern. The monthly survey covers Arkansas, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Oklahoma and South Dakota.

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (AP) — A billionaire Republican donor is paying $1 million to help defray the cost of deploying the South Dakota National Guard to the U.S. -Mexico border. The amount of the donation was confirmed Wednesday by Gov. Kristi Noem's office. Republicans, including Donald Trump, have railed against Democrats' handling of an influx of crossings at the border. The donation highlights one way that big-dollar donors have insinuated themselves into governmental process and drive decisions. Noem's office says she accepted the offer from donor Willis Johnson to save taxpayers money. Critics say the deployment amounts to political theater.

A three-judge panel has begun hearing evidence to decide whether a woman should become the first female sentenced to death in Nebraska for her role in the killing and dismemberment of a woman she met through a dating app. Bailey Boswell was convicted of first-degree murder and conspiracy to commit murder last year for the slaying of Sydney Loofe, a clerk at a Menards hardware store in Lincoln. Boswell’s boyfriend during the slaying, 54-year-old Aubrey Trail, was sentenced to death last month for fatally strangling Loofe and dismembering her body. Authorities say Boswell lured the 24-year-old Loofe to her death through the dating app Tinder.

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