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Officials explain new Iowa gun laws in panel presentation

The panel covered many issues including who can and cannot request a permit from the Sheriff's Office. (Louis Finley/KTVO)

The League of Women Voter of Ottumwa held a panel presentation featuring government officials to inform southeast Iowans on House File 517, which went into effect July 1st, 2017.

The panel covered many issues including who can and cannot request a permit from the Sheriff's Office.

Though the new gun laws are extremely lenient, those who will not be allowed permits include felons and the mentally ill.

Wapello County Sheriff Mark Miller said the process is fairly quick, with a return date of the permit for someone without a criminal record in around three days. A decision must be made in 30 days.

A jurisdiction is not allowed to enforce tougher gun laws than the ones that already exist.

Other questions asked at the forum included where one can carry a gun and defining the "stand you ground" laws.

Restrictions for places one is not allowed to carry a gun are places where a business or owner does not allow the weapon. The carrier will be asked to leave as this is trespassing.

Other places guns are not allowed include state fairs and state universities. If caught the carrier can receive a misdemeanor.

"Stand your ground" laws are a gray areas. The law only protects defenders not attackers, but all officials agreed to use "common sense."

A permit costs $50 and will be issued by the Sheriff's Office. No training is required, and the permit expires in five years.

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