Iowa Gov. Branstad Signs Law Expanding Gun Rights

If signed by Branstad, the measure would enable about 275,000 residents with concealed weapons permits to carry guns in the Capitol.

"Never before have we passed a bill in which Iowa's Second Amendment rights are legally recognized, claimed, and protected quite so profoundly as this bill does".

Branstad has indicated he supports the bill. The names and addresses of gun permit holders had been public records, but as of today, they're to be kept private.

Fourth Amendment protections in regards to "going armed with intent" - HF 517 clarifies that the intent element for the crime of "going armed with a risky weapon with intent to use it without justification", a Class D felony under state law, can not be presumed or inferred from the mere carrying or concealment of a firearm on or about the person or in a vehicle.

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Gun control organizations pushed hard to derail HF 517 during the legislative process and urged the governor for a veto, arguing the package was a danger to public safety.

Tom Ferguson, executive director of the Iowa County Attorneys Association, said because the bill does not exempt city halls or courthouses, local jurisdictions would face a constant threat of lawsuits and damages.

"As parents, we're deeply concerned about the effects the stand your ground portion of this law will have on our communities", Amber Gustafson, leader of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America's Iowa chapter, told The Hill. It also eliminates a straight party voting option. Short-barreled rifles and shotguns are now permitted, and children can use guns while under adult supervision. Possession of a prohibited rifle can result in a $250 fine.

The House approved the bill Wednesday 65-32 to limit pain and suffering payouts at $250,000 in most cases of medical malpractice and create standards for expert witnesses testifying in such cases.

  • Alfonso Moody