DES MOINES, Iowa – The Iowa Chapter of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, part of Everytown for Gun Safety, released the following statement this evening after the Iowa Senate voted to pass House File 517. The bill now moves to the desk of Gov. Terry Branstad.
Among other provisions, HF 517 includes a provision that would make Iowa only the second state to enact a new Stand Your Ground law since the killing of Trayvon Martin in 2012. Stand Your Ground laws upend traditional self-defense laws by allowing a person to shoot to kill in public, even when there is clear and safe alternative. Stand Your Ground laws give everyday citizens more leeway to shoot than the United States military gives soldiers in war zones.
States that pass Stand Your Ground laws see increases in homicide rates. These laws also have a disproportionate effect on communities of color. More information about Stand Your Ground is available here.
A separate provision of HF 517 would give individuals the power to sue local governments for passing or enforcing local gun laws, and would entitle them to large payouts at Iowa taxpayers’ expense.
STATEMENT FROM AMBER GUSTAFSON, VOLUNTEER CHAPTER LEADER WITH THE IOWA CHAPTER OF MOMS DEMAND ACTION FOR GUN SENSE IN AMERICA:
“In the weeks since this bill was introduced, lawmakers have listened thoughtfully to the widespread concerns about certain portions of it, and we’re grateful they removed dangerous sections that would have gutted Iowa’s background check and permit-to-carry requirements.
“Still, we remain deeply concerned that the Stand Your Ground and punitive preemption portions of this bill would leave our communities less safe. Stand Your Ground laws embolden people to escalate everyday disputes, and the statistics from states that have passed them are deeply troubling. We’ll be urging the governor to keep our state from following their concerning lead.”