Controversy Surrounding Potential Iowa Gun Rights Expansion


Proposed legislation would expand gun rights in Iowa. (WHO-HD)

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DES MOINES, Iowa  --  A new proposal to expand gun rights is creating controversy in Iowa.

As Political Director Dave Price reports, this proposal could make Iowa the 25th state with Stand Your Ground laws.

Republicans across the country have been pushing this legislation, and it is one of the more controversial parts of the expanded gun rights bill at the Iowa Statehouse.

The 2012 Florida case of neighborhood watchman George Zimmerman fatally shooting Trayvon Martin is one of the more prominent nationwide. Zimmerman confronted Martin after thinking he looked suspicious, and after a scuffle Zimmerman shot Martin. He was later acquitted.

Some Iowans believe Stand Your Ground laws will protect individuals protecting their property.

The chief of the Des Moines Police Department, however, is not convinced.

"The officers will have to deal with these issues at a much higher rate, and then as a bonus they'll get to sit back and face the criticism about how and why and what they did," said Chief Wingert.

Other gun rights expansions include lifetime permits for guns instead of having to get them renewed, keeping information regarding who has gun permits confidential, and stopping local jurisdictions--including universities--from banning people from carrying guns on campus.

A Republican metro mayor says this is too much.

"Sometimes it's difficult for all of us as leaders to know where we should draw the line. But today I am encouraging all legislators to draw a bold, blue line through these areas of expansion of the gun bill," said Pleasant Hill Mayor Sara Kurovski.

Republicans control the House, Senate, and governor's mansion, but there is no guarantee they will agree on all of these gun rights expansions or that all Republicans want to expand gun rights.


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