If you’re pro-gun rights and live in Iowa, chances are you’re celebrating the sweeping victory that expands gun rights throughout the state.
On April 13, 2017, Iowa Governor Terry Branstad (R) signed a bill that gives gun owners the ability to defend themselves in public areas. The bill also addressed legislation that prevents local government from executing their own rules.
House File 517 is the result of seven years of House Republicans working towards a comprehensive bipartisan bill that protects the Second Amendment Rights of Iowans.
Additionally, this law expands Iowa’s ground rules, giving residents the right to defend themselves with force if they are in situations where they feel threatened. Critics, such as Amber Gustafson, who is in charge of the Iowa chapter of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America released a statement: “As parents, we’re deeply concerned about the effects the stand your ground portion of this law will have on our communities. No matter what your position was on this bill, none of us wants to see the kind of homicide rate increase here that other states have seen after enacting stand your ground laws.”
The new legislation also allows residents with concealed-carry permits to carry firearms in the state capitol building. One reason that city and county laws will be pre-empted is that there is a trend in gun legislation where residents sue local governments that enact gun-free zones. This will limit lawsuits and free up the courts for other matters.
The new measure also legalizes short-barreled rifles and shotguns and also allows children to use guns while under the supervision of adults.
Both North Dakota and New Hampshire have also loosened gun ownership restrictions this year. Chris Cox, NRA chief lobbyist, said, “In state legislatures across America, lawmakers are expanding law-abiding citizens’ constitutional right to self-protection.”
Whether you live in Iowa or simply want to expand your shooting skills, consider investing in steel gun targets. If you own a gun, it is your responsibility to know how to discharge the weapon correctly, which means regular practice shooting targets and knowing your gun’s fire, recoil and accuracy.
While it is important to defend your home in the event of an emergency, if you own guns it is imperative that their access is restricted with a gun safe or gun lock. Many local government agencies offer information about how to keep children safe and minimize the risk of gun-related injuries and deaths.