Today, April 13, Governor Terry Branstad greatly enhanced the Second Amendment rights of gun owners across Iowa by signing House File 517 into law. HF 517 is an omnibus bill which makes many pro-gun reforms. Among these reforms, HF 517 restores the right of law-abiding gun owners to carry in the Capitol and restores the rights of parents to make decisions about their youth and handguns. The bill also strengthens self-defense rights for law-abiding Iowans.
Also included in the reform of 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.
- Short Barreled Rifles - HF 517 legalizes the ownership and use of short barreled rifles.
- Numerous additional changes to the laws regarding concealed carry and the permitting process.