Capitol Update: Week 9

Second Amendment Bill Passes Iowa House

On Tuesday, House successfully passed an extensive, bi-partisan bill preserving Second Amendment rights for Iowans. Through HF 517, the firearms permitting process is made simpler and safer, parents are guaranteed the opportunity to teach their children how to safely handle firearms, the privacy of Iowans who have a firearms permit is protected, and Iowans are given the right to defend themselves. The bill also includes several other changes to the Iowa Code.

Permit to Carry Weapons and Firearm Safety Training

Permits to carry and permits to acquire will both be issued for five years.  In order to get an initial permit to carry, a person must complete a firearms safety class that can be done online or in person. Additional classes are not required when a permit is renewed. While the permits are issued for five years, the office that issues a permit to carry or acquire may conduct annual criminal history checks.

Possession of Pistols and Revolvers by Persons Under the Age of 14

Current law does not allow a parent to teach their child how to safely handle a pistol or revolver if they are under 14. There are no restrictions on shotguns or rifles and this imbalance has created problems for law abiding Iowans.  The bill allows a parent to supervise a child, under the age of 21, while they lawfully use a pistol or revolver. The parent must remain in close proximity and have visual and verbal contact with the child using the pistol or revolver. The parent will be strictly liable to an injured party for all damages resulting from the possession of the handgun.

Permit Confidentiality

Iowans who have a permit to carry or acquire firearms risk having their private information released to the public. HF 517 requires DPS and the county sheriff to keep this personally identifiable information private.

Stand Your Ground-Justifiable Use of Reasonable Force

Under HF 517, Iowans will finally be allowed to stand their ground and protect themselves and others from violent attacks. A person will be permitted to use reasonable force, up to and including deadly force, to protect themselves or others if there is reasonable belief that force is necessary.

Traffic Law Changes Regarding Right Turns on Right

This past Tuesday, the house passed HF 372. This bill pertains to right turns on red lights and updates the current code. Currently, if there are two designated right turn lanes, only the innermost lane can turn right on a red onto a one-way street.   This bill now allows for both designated right-turn lanes to turn right on a red light onto a one-way as long as it can be done so safely. It also allows for a left turn on a red light onto a one-way as well as striking out the provision that the turn must be made into the innermost lane.

News from District 96

I had the opportunity to visit with the Manchester Good to Great Committee.  This group helped to finance the water park in Manchester and have done other positive things for the community.  They shared their thoughts and concerns on this legislative process.

I attended Secretary of Agriculture Northey’s Ag Leaders Dinner.  Senator Mike Johanns from Nebraska was the featured speaker and he discussed his experiences as a Secretary of Ag.  He was originally from Mitchell County in Iowa and enjoyed the chance to be back in the state.

We spent a large portion of the week with debate on Voter ID.  I have supported Voter ID efforts in the House since my first election back in 2010.


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