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What does the "stand your ground" law mean in Iowa?

DES MOINES - With Wednesday's shooting involving a business owner and an alleged burglar, Local 5 On Your Side wanted to outline what the "stand your ground" law is and how it applies to Iowans. A police officer had told Local 5 that the case was likely going to fall under our new law guidelines.

In 2017, the state legislature passed a gun omnibus bill that was later signed into law that expanded the rights of gun owners. House File 517 includes the "stand your ground" provision that states a law-abiding citizen does not have a duty to retreat in a public place before using deadly force when confronted with danger to life or property.

The specific statute is 704.13, which reads: "A person who is justified in using reasonable force against an aggressor in defense of oneself, another person, or property pursuant to section 704.4 is immune from criminal or civil liability for all damages incurred by the aggressor pursuant to the application of reasonable force."

Local 5 spoke to the spokesman for the Des Moines Police department, who said that a deadly weapon doesn't only include guns, but rather anything that can be considered as a weapon, such as a knife or a baseball bat.


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