Event protests proposed 'Stand your Ground' law in Iowa - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Event protests proposed 'Stand your Ground' laws in Iowa

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The Dubuque Culture of Nonviolence Coalition hosted a vigil Friday night to oppose the proposed 'Stand your Ground' laws in Iowa. Current laws in the state of Iowa allow the use of weapons to defend one's home from imminent threat. The Stand your Ground law has stalled in the Iowa legislature in each of the last two legislative sessions. 

The vigil fell on the anniversary of a shooting that happened at the University of Iowa on November 1st, 1991. During the vigil a brief speeches were given and candles were lit and then put out representing each of the 216 victims of gun violence in Iowa last year.

Mary Sawyer is a member of the Dubuque Culture of Nonviolence Coalition. She says she hopes the vigil raises awareness about the proposed 'Stand your Ground' laws.

"If that was introduced in Iowa it would allow people to use deadly force while in public space," Sawyer said. "If they perceived that their was a threat. Now the problem of course is people could take action with a deadly weapon and argue that their was a threat when there might not have been one."

John Kemps is licensed to sell firearms out of his home in Dubuque. He supports the Stand your Ground law.

"If someone is going to perpetrate a crime on you they are going to find you when you are on your maximum disadvantage," Kemps said. "They are not going to take somebody that they figured is armed or stronger in a well lit place. They are going to try to catch you out in a dark parking lot loading groceries in your trunk or sometime when you are at your maximum disadvantage."

At least 22 states currently have a Stand your Ground law. That law allows someone to shoot another person in self-defense with no caveat.

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