State Rep. Dan Muhlbauer
State Rep. Dan Muhlbauer
State Rep. Dan Muhlbauer's forceful and provocative support of more firearms restrictions in Iowa, including advocacy of government seizure of certain semiautomatic weapons he wants banned, has stirred a national furor among gun owners, Second Amendment advocates and others.

The Drudge Report website, through the Daily Caller, posted a link to a Daily Times Herald story about the Manilla Democrat's comments atop its homepage today and conservative commentator Glenn Beck featured the story on his website, The Blaze, where it had generated 405 reader responses, most of them highly critical of Muhlbauer, as of mid-morning. WHO-Radio talk-show host Simon Conway, TheIowaRepublican.com and other organizations have published accounts of Muhlbauer's statements and discussed them as well.

Muhlbauer told Conway in an off-air interview Tuesday that he was taken "out of context." The lawmaker also called the Daily Times Herald and said the story was inaccurate. The Daily Times Herald, which stands by the accuracy of the story, Tuesday night released the unedited, unabridged audio of the 15-minute interview in question at carrollspaper.com

In the Dec. 19 interview with The Daily Times Herald, Muhlbauer said Iowa lawmakers should ban semiautomatic guns and "start taking them" from owners who refuse to surrender any illegal firearms through a buyback program. A fiery Muhlbauer said it is time to act with "radical changes" on gun laws and other issues to protect schoolchildren from killing sprees like the one in Newtown, Conn.

"We cannot have big guns out here as far as the big guns that are out here, the semiautomatics and all of them," Muhlbauer said. "We can't have those running around out here. Those are not hunting weapons."

He added, "We should ban those in Iowa."

Muhlbauer, who did not list the specific weapons he wants outlawed in The Daily Times Herald interview, said he would like to see the ban implemented in a retroactive fashion.

"Even if you have them, I think we need to start taking them," Muhlbauer said. "We can't have those out there. Because if they're out there they're just going to get circulated around to the wrong people. Those guns should not be in the public's hands. There are just too many guns."

Carroll County Republican Party Chairman Craig Williams of Manning said the comments reveal a lawmaker out of touch with his constituents and the culture of rural Iowa.

"Had Mr. Muhlbauer stated prior to the last election that he believed that the government should outlaw currently legal weapons and then take them from law-abiding citizens by force if necessary, I seriously doubt he would have won re-election," Williams told The Daily Times Herald. "The views he reflects in this interview are far left of his constituency who will fail to see how trampling on their rights to keep and bear arms as guaranteed by the Constitution will make anyone safer."

Williams said the episode makes Muhlbauer politically vulnerable should he seek re-election in 2014.

"If he is successful at passing any such legislation in Iowa, I believe he will be unsuccessful in re-election," Williams said.

Shane Vander Hart, a Christian conservative blogger for The Des Moines Register, wrote that Muhlbauer's gun-control statements are to the left of many nationally known liberals.

"Even U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein (a California Democrat) didn't suggest a retroactive ban, so I'm not sure what State Representative Muhlbauer is thinking," Vander Hart wrote.

Feinstein supports grandfathering of firearms owned by the day of enactment for new gun-control measures she backs.

Muhlbauer, a cattleman who will represent Carroll, Audubon and Crawford counties, won re-election to a second term, his first in the new Iowa House District 12 in November with 61 percent of the vote in a race with Carroll Republican Barney Bornhoft.