Applause, Dismay, as Branstad Signs Gun Rights Bill

Darin HammondApr 15, 2017

The Republican-controlled Iowa Legislature has passed a bill that will require identification at the polls and reduce the number of early voting days.

Part of the bill went into effect Thursday.

Branstad has announced he will sign the bill Thursday.

Snell was among the supporters who gathered to see Branstad sign House File 517, which now will allow children to use handguns under adult supervision, enhance existing "stand your ground" laws, create an avenue for Iowans to sue cities or counties that enact gun-free zones, legalize short-barreled rifles and shotguns, allow permit-holders to carry handguns in the Capitol and create confidentiality for permit-holders. The new law's "stand your ground" provisions will shield Iowans from lawsuits or criminal charges if they shoot to defend life or property, not just in their own homes, but anywhere they are legally permitted to be.

Efforts to protect the Second Amendment rights of law-abiding citizens during natural disasters and emergency powers were birthed during the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina (2005), where the confiscation of firearms left law-abiding citizens vulnerable to looting and attack. Chris Cox, executive director of the NRA's lobbying arm, said, "It is a great day for freedom". "We'd love to have gone further, but this is still the most monumental piece of Second Amendment legislation and rights enhancement that Iowans have ever seen".

"And this legislation makes Iowa one of the most pro-second amendment states in the country", Branstad said.

"I think anytime we are expanding the use of deadly force, we do have to be cautious about that", Boulton said.

Branstad acknowledged the national publicity the bill has received.

Amber Gustafson of the Iowa Chapter of Moms Demand Action For Gun Sense in America issued a statement expressing concern that Iowa joining the ranks of states with "stand-your-ground" laws would result in a higher homicide rate as she said it has in those locations.

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