Changes in Iowa gun law will simplify rules for owners

A new dawn of gun rights will be coming to Iowa gun owners if HSB 133 becomes law this year. Photo by Brennan Khols.

Currently in the Iowa House, there has been a bill introduced that would ease unjust regulations on law abiding gun owners in the state. House Study Bill 133 gets rid of outdated and downright pointless laws that constrict Iowans’ Second Amendment rights, and it also adds some very much needed gun laws.

One of the biggest things that this bill would add to the state is a Stand-Your-Ground law. A Stand-Your-Ground law is a measure that would make it legal to use lethal force rather than retreating when your life or another person’s life is in immediate danger. Under current state law, you must make an effort to retreat from the danger before you can use lethal force. Of course, retreating is not always an option in a dangerous situation with a violent criminal. If HSB 133 were to get passed, the gun owner must still possess a concealed carry permit. This law would be very beneficial to the safety of Iowa citizens and gun owners.

HSB 133 also promotes gun safety with Iowa youth shooters. Under current law, no children under 14 can handle or fire handguns at the shooting range, even under direct parental supervision. HSB 133 would change this to allow them to shoot as long as they are have adult supervision. It will teach children gun safety at an earlier age and decrease sometimes deadly firearm accidents later on down the line.

The law also benefits Iowa gun owners by restricting the regulation of firearms, ammunition and firearm accessories by counties and cities, so if you live in a very liberal city, and they want to put an end to concealed carry, they cannot do that. Currently it is already illegal for subdivisions to enact separate gun laws, but the writing is not very clear and allows wiggle room.

Also in the bill are lifetime carry permits. Currently, if you possess a permit to carry, you have to renew it every five years by going to get approved by the county sheriff, but in the bill it would change it to never having to renew it. Once you get it, you’re done. This would save everyone time, and save the county resources.

One of the bigger things the bill would also get rid of is the permit to acquire. Under state law, in order to purchase a handgun, you must be 21 years of age and either get a permit to carry or permit to acquire to even buy the firearm. In order to get the permit to acquire, you must meet with the county sheriff and for approval of the permit, which usually ends up taking about three days. The permit only lasts for a year before it must be renewed. The permit is completely nonsensical. It takes too long and is only good for one year. It makes much more sense to just get a carry permit. The bill would get rid of the additional permit needed to buy a handgun. It also brings Iowa in with federal regulation on purchasing a firearm.

HSB 133 will cover short barrel rifles and shotguns as well, which are currently banned by Iowa state law. A short barrel rifle is a rifle that has a barrel below 16 inches and a shotgun that has a barrel less than 18 inches. The bill would legalize these, but they would be regulated the same as suppressors, which were made legal in March of 2016. SBRs and SBSs would be regulated under the National Firearms Act of 1934, which would include a $200 tax stamp and would have to be registered in an ATF database. Short barrel rifles and shotguns are usually used for carrying in a vehicle or for home defense as the shortened length makes it easier for close quarter situations.

The current “Armed with Intent” regulations will also be changed in HSB 133. If a person carrying a gun with a carry permit was charged with a crime not even related to firearms, the state prosecution could charge the defendant with “going armed with intent,” which is a Class D felony. HSB 133 would not allow the prosecution to automatically assume that the person being charged was armed with intent. They have to provide evidence that the defendant was planning to use the firearm.

HSB 133 will help protect gun owners and allow us the full rights of the Second Amendment. It helps with teaching Iowa minors gun safety, and it also allows the purchasing of a self-defense weapon to be a less complicated process. It doesn’t get rid of background checks or anything else gun-grabbers will try to make up. It doesn’t mean you can just walk into a gun store and lay down some cash and buy a gun. All the federal gun regulations are still in play with this. All HSB 133 does it simplify laws and make owning a gun safer for the owner.

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