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Iowa: Critical Self-Defense Law Takes Effect July 1!

Friday, June 30, 2017

Iowa: Critical Self-Defense Law Takes Effect July 1!

Tomorrow, July 1, the provisions of House File 517, go into effect.  Thanks to your active involvement last session, this bill was signed by Governor Branstad on April 23, 2017.  HF 517 marks a step forward in protecting the Second Amendment rights of law-abiding Iowans across the Hawkeye State.

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 strengthens self-defense rights.

Your NRA-ILA would like to thank you for your active involvement during the 2017 Iowa legislative session.

Also 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 concealed handgun in or on any capitol buildings by a person with a valid permit to carry weapons.
  • 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.
  • 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.

Additionally, two key components of this bill went into effect immediately upon the Governor’s signature.  As of April 23, 2017, Iowa youth have the ability to learn handgun safety “under the direct supervision” of a parent or other specified responsible authorized adult in a safe and responsible way.  Further, the Commissioner of Public Safety and any issuing officer (County Sheriff) are required to keep confidential all personally identifiable information about holders of nonprofessional permits to carry weapons and permits to acquire firearms, except for expressly authorized disclosures.

Your NRA-ILA will continue to fight for your Second Amendment rights in the Hawkeye State.  Please stay tuned to your email inbox and www.nraila.org for future updates on gun-related bills.


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Established in 1975, the Institute for Legislative Action (ILA) is the "lobbying" arm of the National Rifle Association of America. ILA is responsible for preserving the right of all law-abiding individuals in the legislative, political, and legal arenas, to purchase, possess and use firearms for legitimate purposes as guaranteed by the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.