Gov. Terry Branstad, R-Iowa, on Thursday signed a far-reaching gun bill that includes an expansion for the state's stand-your-ground provision, making Iowa one of the most gun-friendly states in the nation.
The signing comes despite concerns over the stand-your-ground rule, which will allow residents the use of deadly force anywhere if they feel threatened.
"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. "No matter what your position was on this bill, none of us wants to see the kind of homicide rate increase here that other states have seen after enacting stand your ground laws."
The law will also allow those with concealed carry permits to bring their weapons into the state capitol building and prevents state officials, including the governor, from banning weapon possession in emergency situations. Short-barreled rifles and shotguns are now permitted, and children can use guns while under adult supervision.
"Without exaggeration, House File 517 is the most monumental and sweeping piece of gun legislation in Iowa's history," Barry Snell, president of the Iowa Firearms Coalition, told The Washington Post. "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."
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