Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad signed a bill Thursday drastically expanding the state’s gun privileges, including a provision that forbids cities from regulating where individuals have the right to bear arms, Omaha’s ABC affiliate KETV reports.
Previous measures allowed citizens to legally defend themselves with deadly force only within a household or business, but under the new policy, citizens can “stand their ground” anywhere.
“This changes it in the fact that you can use force if needed all the time, no matter where you’re at,” Assistant Pottawattamie County Attorney, James Burger, said.
Burger noted that citizens defending themselves may not flee the scene, destroy any evidence or be involved in illegal activity.
While firearm advocates are celebrating the measure, the bill’s ambiguity raises questions about legally carrying weapons in government buildings.
“The one thing that is kind of open for debate is what is that going to do to courthouse security or security at the Capitol,” Burger said.
Pottawattamie County Sheriff Jeff Danker is not concerned about the possible ramifications of the bill.
“It’s a new law, we’re going to have to look at it and we’ll abide by whatever it is and enforce it just like we always do,” Danker said.
Not everyone shared the same feelings regarding the bill. Activists for Moms Demand Action are concerned it will lead to more gun violence.
Parts of the bill have already taken effect, but most changes will be seen after July 1.