Law enforcement officials express reservations with parts of gun bill

Many significant changes would be made to Iowa’s gun laws if a bill working its way through the Iowa Legislature gains sufficient approval in the coming weeks.

Those charged with keeping the peace and enforcing Iowa’s laws say they have serious concerns regarding some portions of the wide-ranging proposal.

Many of Iowa’s county sheriffs, city police chiefs and county attorneys say their deepest concerns lie with two particular provisions:

• One that would lessen an individual’s burden to justify the use of lethal force in self-defense.

• One that would allow Iowans to sue local governments that prohibit the possession of guns in public buildings, such as county courthouses.

Rep. Matt Windschitl is a Republican state legislator and gun shop owner from Missouri Valley and an advocate for reducing restrictions on gun ownership and use. He said stand-your-ground laws are designed to protect individuals from being prosecuted for acting in self-defense and such a protection should extend beyond the individuals’ home or vehicle.