Fairfax, Va.— Iowa is the latest state to pass significant legislation in recent months restoring Second Amendment freedoms. This week Iowa lawmakers sent House File 517, an omnibus bill containing many pro-gun reforms, to Governor Terry Branstad. HF 517 would restore the right of law-abiding gun owners to carry in the capitol and would restore the rights of parents to make decisions about their youth and handguns. The bill also strengthens self-defense rights for law-abiding Iowans.
“In state legislatures across America, lawmakers are expanding law-abiding citizens’ constitutional right to self-protection,” said Chris W. Cox, executive director of the National Rifle Association Institute for Legislative Action. “The NRA and our five million members thank the Iowa legislature and Governor Branstad for working to strengthen Iowans’ Second Amendment rights so they have the freedom to protect themselves and their families.”
Included in HF 517:
- Stand Your Ground – Under HF 517 a law-abiding citizen would have no duty to retreat from any place where the person is lawfully present before using force to defend themselves.
- 4th Amendment protections in regards to “going armed with intent” – HF 517 clarifies that the intent element for the crime of “going armed with a dangerous weapon with intent to use it without justification,” a Class D felony under state law, cannot be presumed or inferred from the mere carrying or concealment of a firearm on or about the person or in a vehicle.
- Capitol Carry – Prevents the Director of the Department of Administrative Services from prohibiting the otherwise lawful carrying, transportation, or possession of any handgun in or on any capitol buildings.
- Restricting State of Emergency Powers – Prevents the Governor, any state official, an official of any political subdivision acting at the direction of the Governor, and other officials from exercising powers during a proclaimed state of emergency to prohibit, regulate, or curtail the otherwise lawful possession, carrying, transportation, transfer or defensive use of firearms or ammunition, or to seize or confiscate legally possessed firearms and ammunition.
- Youth Shooting and Parental Rights – HF 517 would give Iowa youth the ability to learn handgun safety only “under the direct supervision” of a parent or other specified responsible, authorized adult in a safe and responsible way.
- Permit Privacy – The bill restricts the use and disclosure of information acquired about holders of nonprofessional permits to carry weapons and permits to acquire firearms. The Commissioner of Public Safety and any issuing officer (County Sheriff) would be required to keep confidential all personally identifiable information about such individuals, except for expressly authorized disclosures.
- Numerous additional changes to the laws regarding concealed carry and the permitting process.
Second Amendment rights bills in the states this year:
- Signed into law: 9
- Pending governors’ signature: 9
Gun Control bills in the states this year:
- Signed into law: 0
- Pending governors’ signature: 1
- Failed: 23
State laws restoring/protecting Second Amendment rights in recent months:
- New Hampshire – enacted Constitutional Carry Law, February 22
- North Dakota – enacted Constitutional Carry Law, March 23
Twelve states now have Constitutional Carry Laws: Vermont, Alaska, Arizona, Wyoming, Kansas, Maine, Idaho, West Virginia, Mississippi, Missouri, New Hampshire, North Dakota
States rejecting gun control schemes in recent months:
- New Mexico – lawmakers soundly rejected a measure backed by New York billionaire and gun control advocate Michael Bloomberg that would have criminalized virtually all private firearms transfers in the state
- Connecticut – lawmakers rejected an intrusive gun control measure aimed at making it harder for law-abiding gun owners to carry a concealed firearm.
Federal legislation protecting Second Amendment rights in recent months:
- President Trump signs into law bill protecting Social Security recipients’ due process and Second Amendment rights, February 28
Established in 1871, the National Rifle Association is America's oldest civil rights and sportsmen's group. More than five million members strong, NRA continues to uphold the Second Amendment and advocates enforcement of existing laws against violent offenders to reduce crime. The Association remains the nation's leader in firearm education and training for law-abiding gun owners, law enforcement and the armed services. Be sure to follow the NRA on Facebook at NRA on Facebook and Twitter @NRA.