Explaining Stand Your Ground law - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Explaining Stand Your Ground law

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CEDAR FALLS (KWWL) -

The Stand Your Ground law is months away from taking effect in Iowa.

Lawmakers say it will allow Iowans to use deadly force to avoid injury or possible death.

Steven Foote, an employee at Mr. Guns in Cedar Falls, says the new bill is cut and dry.

"You no longer have the duty to retreat if you're confronted with a situation," explained Foote.

Foote says the biggest part of the Stand Your Ground bill is that people no longer have to try and run away if they feel they're in danger.

"If you're in the process of being mugged you no longer have to try and run away first, you can simply use what force is necessary to stop the situation right there on the spot," said Foote.

The force used isn't limited to a gun.

"It could be whatever weapon you happen to have on hand," said Foote. "You don't always have your fire arm with you so it could easily be a flash light or monkey wrench."

Right now in Iowa the old law still applies.

"The way the law is currently written means that if you're confronted with a certain situation you need to back up and try to run away or get away if you can," said Foote.

Soon Iowans can stand their ground anywhere. Whether that be on their property or in town. This is something that worries some people.

"Another big misconception is that there will be blood in the street, which is what they always claim," said Foote. "Every other state in the union that has had the stand your ground law enacted has not had blood in the street."

A huge concept Foote stresses is a person's life needs to be in danger before they can shoot or use another weapon.

"You have to be in jeopardy," said Foote. "You need to be in great bodily harm or near death, so you have to be in jeopardy in order to use deadly force, period."

Foote says right now people in Iowa still have to try and run away.

Adding a lot of the time it's scary to turn your back on a person who might hurt you, but this bill will solve that problem.

The Stand Your Ground bill goes in to effect July 1.

Right now Iowa law remains the same. Lawmakers say you must try and retreat before using deadly force.
 

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