Published: Sat, April 15, 2017
U.S. | By Jeffery Vega

Branstad signs gun legislation, advocates promise continued efforts

Branstad signs gun legislation, advocates promise continued efforts

"In fact, an article in yesterday's Washington Post called this legislation Iowa's most expansive gun bill ever", Branstad said. Portions of the bill go into effect immediately, though most will be enforced starting July 1.

The passage and signing of the measure marks the end of a decades-long battle for a bill that does more than make incremental changes to the state's gun laws and would bring Iowa in line with its more gun-friendly neighbors such as Missouri and Wisconsin, said Barry Snell, president of the Iowa Firearms Coalition, an advocacy group that has been instrumental in the bill's inception and passage.

Finally, the law strikes gun-free zones at the state capitol, expands Fourth Amendment search and seizure protections for those carrying firearms, scraps the state ban on short barreled rifles and shotguns, and prevents officials from restricting the carry of firearms during a state of emergency. Democrats previously controlled the Senate and were able to block much of those efforts, and they remain critical of numerous bill's provisions, particularly its stand your ground enhancements.

Efforts to protect the Second Amendment rights of law-abiding citizens during natural disasters and emergency powers were birthed during the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina (2005), where the confiscation of firearms left law-abiding citizens vulnerable to looting and attack. "Expanding the freedoms and solidifying the constitutional rights of Iowans should always be a goal for our state", he added. "I know this is an important and significant piece of legislation for people that support the Second Amendment to the United States Constitution. I am ecstatic, I am pleased, and there is still much work to be done".

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"It is a great day for freedom".

The Iowa House has approved legislation that would cap financial awards in medical malpractice lawsuits except in severe cases. "And I think everybody's really excited".

Branstad acknowledged the national publicity the bill has received.

Gustafson applauded the fact that Iowa legislators did not repeal Iowa's background check requirement for handgun sales and permit requirement for carrying concealed handguns.

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