Friday, April 14, 2017


by Bob Walsh

Iowa's legislature has just passed an expansive, pro-gun piece of legislation that will, depending on who you ask, either turn Iowa into Dodge City or the most peaceful place on earth. (Actually, shootings were relatively rare in Dodge City and murders rarer still, due to the prohibition of carrying guns in the city limits during the late 19th and early 20th century, but what the hell, it sounds good.)

The new legislation, among other things, allows local citizens to sue officials if they believe that "gun-free zones" violate their Second Amendment rights and all the use of deadly force for self defense if the shooter believes (not necessarily reasonably believes) their life is in danger.

The bill, HF-517, is on the governor's desk. The governor, Terry Branstad, has said he is inclined to sign he. He is about to leave office to be the U. S. Ambassador to Communist China.

The bill passed the senate 33 to 17 and the house 57 to 36. Republicans now control both houses of the legislature.

The bill also relieves "stand your ground" shooters of civil liability in the use of deadly force if they justify their use of force. Presumably that means if they are not charged criminally, or are charged but found not guilty, there can be no civil liability attached.

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