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Saturday, January 23, 2016

Iowa Panel Affirms Gun Rights During Emergencies

An Iowa House panel advanced a proposal Thursday declaring that state officials would lose their legal authority to restrict gun owners’ lawful use of firearms during emergencies. Rep. Matt Windschitl, R-Missouri Valley, sponsored the bill and said it would protect Second Amendment rights. 

“I don’t want Iowans’ constitutional rights to be arbitrarily undermined by this administration or any future administration,” Windschitl said. “I’m not saying that it would happen, but sometimes we have to protect against the ‘what-ifs’ out there.” 

We’ve all seen a “what if” unfold in New Orleans in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. When residents most needed to protect themselves amid wide-scale looting, city officials instead confiscated their firearms. 

Windschitl’s legislation is designed to prevent a scenario like that from occurring. It’s unclear, though, what kind of support the bill will get in the Democratic-controlled Senate. They failed to pass Windschitl’s comprehensive gun bill last session.