Thursday, Iowa Governor Terry Branstad signed a significant pro-gun bill, HF-517, into law while lawmakers and gun rights activists excitedly observed.
Expanding the freedoms and solidifying the constitutional rights of Iowans should always be a goal for our state whose motto is: ‘Our liberties we prize and our rights we will maintain.’ In fact, an article in yesterday’s Washington Post called this legislation, ‘Iowa’s most expansive gun bill ever.’ Of course, that’s the Washington Post, so…
“Iowans deserve their freedoms back,” said Rep. Matt Windschitl, who authored the bill. “They deserve their liberties back.”
“These things don’t happen by accident,” Branstad said. “They take, in this case, a long time, and they take a lot of thought and a lot of effort from many people.”
According to Bearing Arms, the bill changes outdated laws such as:
Stand Your Ground – Iowans do not have a duty to retreat from any place where the person is lawfully present before using force to defend themselves
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
Permit Privacy – Ends the use and disclosure of information acquired about holders of nonprofessional permits to carry weapons and permits to acquire firearms
Youth Shooting and Parental Rights – Iowa youth under the age of 14 are now able to legally handle handguns “under the direct supervision” of a parent or other specified responsible, authorized adult in a safe and responsible way
Rallying for HF 517, Iowa saw some very young activists who crusaded diligently to change the law for the past four years.
“All right! Congratulations,” the governor said to 13-year old Meredith Gibson and 11-year-old Natalie Gibson, the 3-gun shooting sisters who have crusaded to change the law for the past four years. “And you’ve got the Brownell shirts on, too. All right!”
“We’re not trying to form a ‘toddler militia’,” the 13-year-old Meredith said. “We’re not trying to concealed carry, all we want to do was change the law so that parents would be able to teach their children gun safety and how to shoot. If parents teach their kids gun safety, the curiosity of guns will be gone and there will be fewer accidents because children will be able to learn gun safety and how to act around them. Don’t just sit there and complain. Go out there and fight for your rights and other people’s rights.”