Ten of the 13 members of a state senate committee have approved the sweeping gun bill that cleared the Iowa House last week.
Republican Senator Dan Dawson of Council Bluffs expects the bill to easily clear the 50-member Senate as well.
“Firearms rights are important rights to Iowans. I mean, one of the reasons why we have a Republican-controlled legislature is because of people valuing those firearms rights,” Dawson said this afternoon. “That’s why we have this bill before us here today.”
Dawson is planning to propose some “technical” tweaks in the bill, but he says the main components will remain intact. That includes “stand your ground” provisions for gun owners, removing the duty to retreat in a public place when faced with danger to life or property. Dawson told reporters Iowa is a state with a pro-gun culture.
“You can talk to a Democrat or Republican out there. It is a deeply embedded personal belief and right here in rural areas and urban areas here in Iowa and we will be passing firearms related this session,” Dawson said.
Senator Nate Boulton, a Democrat from Des Moines, was one of two committee members who voted against the bill. He has several concerns, including the part of the bill that would allow permit holders to carry a gun inside the state capitol.
“We’ve got to vet this very carefully before we do anything,” Boulton told reporters.
The bill also includes language that backers say will give citizens grounds to sue cities or counties that establish “guns-free” zones.