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Iowa House Study Bill 133 is an omnibus weapons law reform bill. The authors of the bill appear to have searched through various weapons laws enacted in the United States in the last several decades for inspiration, taking the best features of laws that have worked elsewhere. But the Iowa bill features a few unique twists of its own. The bill covers so many reforms that amendments and wording changes are almost certain. Here is an overview of most of the prominent features of the bill.

HSB 133 makes clear that the presumption of evil intent is not to be inferred from the mere act of being armed. From

A person who goes armed with any dangerous weapon with the intent to use without justification such weapon against the person of another commits a class “D” felony. The intent required for a violation of this section shall not be inferred from the mere carrying or concealment of any dangerous weapon itself, including the carrying of a loaded firearm, whether in a vehicle or on or about a person’s body.

The bill strengthens firearms preemption with a strong rewrite of current law, making the law uniform across the state.

A Stand Your Ground provision is included in the law.

The bill removes the prohibition on  the carry of pistols or revolvers on snowmobiles or all terrain vehicles (ATVs).

It removes the authority of officials to seize or confiscate legally possessed firearms during states of emergency.

It removes the authority of Director of Administrative Services to ban weapons in the Capitol and associated buildings.

It protects the privacy of permit holders by prohibiting disclosure of personal information on carry permits, except for specifically authorized disclosures.

There is a provision to appeal the decision of Sheriff or Commissioner if a permit is refused; court fees can be awarded if the appeal succeeds.

It allows for carry without a permit, open or concealed, if the requirement for training for carrying a weapon has been done. It is not quite Constitutional carry, but it is “permitless” carry.  From

1. Except as provided in subsection 2, the availability of a professional or nonprofessional permit to carry weapons under this chapter shall not be construed to impose a general prohibition on the unlicensed carrying, whether openly or concealed, of a dangerous weapon, including a loaded firearm.

2. A person shall be prohibited from the unlicensed carrying, whether openly or concealed, of a dangerous weapon, including a loaded firearm unless the person has completed a firearm safety training program described under section 724.9, subsection 1.

It allows for firearm training to be done online. Honorable discharge from the armed forces is sufficient to prove training.

Defensive display is allowed for. From

The bill provides that a threat to cause serious injury or death by the production, display, or brandishing of a deadly weapon, is not deadly force, as long as the actions of the person are limited to creating an expectation that the person may use deadly force to defend oneself, another, or as otherwise authorized by law.

Parents are allowed to supervise children during the lawful use of a pistol or revolvers, if the parents are 21 or over.

During the 2016 elections, Iowans removed politicians that had been blocking gun law reforms for many years.  Second Amendment supporters in Iowa are hopeful that most of the above reforms will be able to move through the legislature and be signed into law.

©2017 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice and link are included.

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    • Agreed, but I would still have liked to see short barreled rifles and short barreled shotguns allowed in Iowa. Maybe that’s coming up in another bill.

  1. Treating firearms and edged tools(knives, axes etc.) like cell phones would be ideal. After all, people were walking around with literal incendiaries in their pockets for years i.e. Galaxy Note 7.

    • Considering the total lack of situational awareness that often occurs during public cell phone use I suspect that they (cell phones) are responsible for as many deaths, possibly more deaths, annually than firearm accidents.

      • Good point, coupled with auto accidents cell phones are no doubt a big factor in many deaths. In this respect they are comparable to alcohol/drugs. Yet they are largely unregulated, ironic considering that such a device could be potentially so dangerous(distracting, battery igniting or even ESD in older models causing explosions/fires), yet most tools are.

    • Interesting. I’ve always thought that handguns should be treated like a pack of cigarettes. Both can kill you, and the USE of both is highly regulated. But for some reason that I have yet to figure out, smokers are allowed to carry their cigarettes without impunity to virtually every space on the planet.

  2. Looks pretty good to me, although I’m not too keen on having to train in order to exercise a civil right protected by the Constitution. I’m not anti-training by any means but I’m sort of old fashioned about the “right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed” thingy…

    • I see your point about passing a test in order to exercise a constitutional right. Imagine how the leftists would scream about showing that you passed a basic civics test before voting. However, formal training is to the advantage of anyone willing to use a firearm defensively. I live in Nebraska, the next state west of Iowa. A permit holder here was convicted of voluntary manslaughter (effectively murder without premeditation) because he mishandled a situation in which he started out as the good guy. I’ve taken two half-day classes on the use of lethal force, read Andrew Branca’s book, The Law of Self Defense, and have signed up for a live class from him. I still don’t think I know enough especially about preponderance of force which is particularly relevant to me as a senior citizen of small stature.

      • If government has the *authority* to require 4 hours of training, it has the authority to both; 1) require 4 years of intensive daily training, paid for by the applicant, and 2) waive or reduce that training requirement for LEO, legislators, movie stars, or whatever. If we read 2A, no government has any such authority.

  3. I recently read some Progressive e-rag article where they were whimpering that the Wascally Iowa Wepublicans didn’t want to compromise anyore.

    Glad to see that this is apparently true!

    • When your definition of “compromise” is, like most Democrats these days, “I get 90% of what I want, and you get nothing”, they shouldn’t be surprised that the Republicans no longer want to participate in that process.

  4. Carrying handguns on snowmobiles and ATVs is illegal there? Im having a hard time understanding why that would be if they’re allowed to be carried in other vehicles. Is there an explanation, or is it just one of those weird illogical laws that are always around?

  5. Frankly, for the time being, I’d settle for eliminating the retraining requirement to renew my permit. Got that coming up next year. That and the laws for justifiable use of a weapon are vague at best.

    • It took about 15 years for TX to eliminate the retraining requirement, maybe someone can get Iowa (or whoever) to examine the results from TX experience instead of insisting that Iowans are so much stupider than Texans that the experience doesn’t translate. Common sense says eliminating that requirement will have no effect on anything!

      • The training requirement in Iowa is basically a joke anyway. Any NRA endorsed course or any course provided by any law enforcement agency in the country is all you need. When I got mine, the Des Moines Register had a piece bitching about the fact that the Maryland State Police Association had a free online course that took about 20 minutes and the courts had upheld that this course qualified for training after a sheriff denied a permit over it. So I took that course. Now next year I have to retrain and I’m not sure if I can take the same course over, so I might have to take a real course and stop being an ignorant redneck.

  6. This is damn good. I see no reason not to pass it. The “safety class” imposition on ConCarry is very easy to remove after more states show they are safe enough. MUCH better than “Resident concarry”. Eventually, you can point to the unenforceability of a safety class, and get that removed.

    I say pass it, collect an early win, and move forward onto more things. Go Iowa!

  7. My Senator assures me this is just the start for what is intended/planned. RINO Branstad may be able to skip off to Chicomland without having to put his name on it. How the lightweight governor in waiting will do is yet to be seen.

  8. Iowa firearms law has always been pretty progressive (in a good sense.) “No guns” signs do not have the force of law. You can consume alcohol while carrying but the limit is 0.08% BAC, the same as for driving. One regressive regulation is that the minimum age for handguns is fourteen years. (The proposed legislation would authorize that under parental supervision.)

    Iowa used to be a “may issue” state. Whether you got a permit depended on the local sheriff. Policies varied by county with a trend toward functionally “shall issue” the farther west you went. The weird part was that a permit granted in a friendly county was valid in unfriendly ones. Sheriffs could write in additional restrictions some of which made the permit essentially useless. Because of the inconsistency, Iowa went “shall issue” several years ago.

    Strengthening state preemption is a good idea. With encouragement from the anti-gun attorney general, some cities have tried to get around the existing preemption law.

    Although Dean didn’t mention it, I believe the proposed legislation also addresses carry on school property which is completely illegal right now. This is a real problem since not all school property is posted as such. It is entirely possible to stray inadvertently onto school property.

  9. A lot of these things have been proposed in years past, but they always died when the Democrats controlling the Senate wouldn’t allow them to come up for a vote, despite having bipartisan support. The Dems “threw us a bone” last year by allowing suppressor legalization to pass, but it was too little, too late. Flipping control of the Senate was one of my proudest days in Iowa. This bill needs to pass, as well as getting a right to bear arms claus in our state constitution. There’s more on the horizon, but this is a great start.

  10. As a Hawkeye (born, raised and still here ) all I can say is about damn time! The liberals bastions we call cities have controlled this state for too long. That being said I work for a local sheriff and about 25-50% of them are listening to the liberals crying “everyone is going to shoot everyone” nonsense they always predictably run to. Here’s hoping we stay free here in IA!

  11. Just to address the need for training prior to carrying a firearm. When I took my carry class there was a young lady at the class who was about 25 years old. She wanted a permit to protect her to children in what is fast becoming a very violent town in Iowa. After talking with her I found out she had never shot or even held a firearm before. After the class I spoke with the training officer about my concerns of her not having any experience around firearms. He spoke with her and was able to get her some additional firearms training. While I believe every law abiding citizen has the right to own and carry a firearm. Common sense says you don’t give someone the keys to a car if they have never driven a car nor should we give a firearm to someone who doesn’t know how to handle one safely.

      • Hell even Cedar Rapids and Waterloo are getting Chicago spillover violence. Pisses me off every time I turn on the news and see another teenager getting shot.

        • True story; about 12 or maybe 15 years ago the federal government decided that Ames wasn’t ‘diverse’ enough. For those not familiar with Ames, it’s home to the largest university in the state and there are people from virtually every country on earth here. But it still wasn’t ‘diverse’ enough, so they made them place ads in the Chicago newspapers – bring your housing voucher to Ames! Now we have a crime problem. Although in fairness, the 4 perps who pulled off the drive by in campustown last week were from Milwaukee.

          They may have done the same to other cities as well.

      • We have a crime problem because of the diversity in Ames now? What have you been smoking? I live in Ames and most of the recent crimes are commited by locals and college kids. And most of arrests you can find on the weekly police report are either intoxicates on Welch or shoplifters from nearby towns. Those shooters are from Milwaukee and they go to school in Ft. Dodge! If you want to blame the “diversity”, what about the white on white shooting in the Grove apartments? And the Ames woman shot and killed her husband in their house?

        • True, the perps from the drive by were not ‘Ames’ people (nor were they Iowa people). But there have been plenty of violent crimes committed by Chicago folk in the last decade. There was the shooting in north Ames last summer, the guy a few years ago that shot and killed his girlfriend and her coworker because he ‘told her not to go to work’ then managed to steal the police car, one that slit his girlfriend’s throat. Every week or so another convenience store gets robbed (with no arrests). Ames used to be about as peaceful of a town as you could find.

          And it’s not the ‘diversity’ that has made Ames a violent town, Ames has had plenty of that since 1858.

  12. My idea of gun law reform would be this:

    1. Access the master copy of state laws and regulations on the state computer.
    2. Select all sections which address guns.
    3. Hit DELETE.

    But in the meantime, this will help.


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