Iowa Senate passes omnibus firearms reform bill

A pro-gun House bill that includes “stand your ground” provisions was approved by lawmakers in the Iowa Senate on Tuesday.

The measure, HF 517, would strike the duty to retreat from the use of force guidelines in Iowa while bringing a host of other changes to the state’s firearms laws. The Senate made several minor bipartisan changes to the proposal before it passed on a Republican-heavy 33-17 vote, returning it to the House for concurrence.

The stand your ground protections drew the most conversation on the floor with Sen. Dan Dawson, R-Pottawattamie, the manager for the bill in the Senate, defending the move.

“The use of deadly force — or any force for that matter — has to be justified in defense of yourself or another, and the force has to be reasonable. Those two things don’t change here,” Dawson said. “All we are trying to say here in this bill is that you have a right to defend yourself not only in specific areas but any area you have a lawful right to be.”

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