QUAD CITIES, Iowa (KWQC) – Discussions to change gun laws in Iowa began in February. After several drafts and rewrites, House File 517 is now law.
“I think that it's a very good bill and I’m very happy with our governor, said a supporter of the new gun Iowa gun laws Ron Farkas.
Farkas is the owner of Gun Safety Group. He says he’s happy with several parts of the new law, especially the ‘Stand Your Ground’ prevision.
“As best as you can avoid the confrontation,” Farkas said of ‘Standing Your Ground’ in Iowa. “But now legally you can't be arrested because you stood there and somebody was 50 feet away and they say, ‘well you could have ran away,’ and you didn't do it.”
Previous Iowa law included the duty to retreat. Frakas says he's happy investigations now will solely focus on the legality of the shooting.
“No more can they look at it and say, ‘well you were 50 feet away and you were ten feet from your car, why didn't you get in your car and drive off,’” he said. “To me that's just a critical life-saver.”
But not everyone is pleased with the new law.
“We have mixed emotions about it,” said Iowa chapter leader for Moms Demand Action, Amber Gustafson.
The organization is disappointed to see ‘Stand Your Ground’ become law in Iowa, but Gustafson says the groups voices were not ignored.
“We were able to take some very dangerous components out of the bill,” she said.
One prevision was very important to Moms Demand Action.
“Our primary focus when this bill came out was to make sure that background checks stayed in place,” Gustafson said.
At one point lawmakers discussed not requiring background checks for private handgun purchases.
“If we could keep nothing else but keep that in place we knew we would save as many lives as possible,” Gustafson said.
Both Gustafson and Farkas say they're happy to see background checks remain.
“It’s a huge responsibility to have a gun,” Farkas said. “It's your right. It's your constitutional right, but if it's been abused then we need to know.”
Other revisions to the new gun law include - restricting state emergency powers, carrying concealed weapons on state capitol grounds and allowing minors under 14 to use handguns with adult supervision
Some previsions that did not make the final draft of the law include – not allowing public universities to ban guns from campus and getting rid of permits to acquire.