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Guns bills could open location restrictions near you

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DUBUQUE, Iowa (KWWL) - A series of gun bills are working their way through the state legislature that could open some previously restrict areas.

The first bill, Senate File 116, would allow gun owners to keep their firearms in their vehicles while dropping off children and items in a school parking lot.

Firearms would be prohibited anywhere outside of the vehicle while on campus. Supporter said this bill would make thing easier for gun owners, as they would not have to make extra trips to put away their firearms while they visited the campus.

However, State Senator, Pam Jochum, said some critics believe guns and schools do not mix. Currently, bringing a gun anywhere near a school campus is a felony and can be punishable by up to five years in prison and $7,500 in fines.

"Well, the concerns will be that somebody could have a weapon and they are sitting in the school parking lot dropping off their children or delivering some kind of item and the gun is in that car," said Jochum. "Sure, it needs to be contained and the ammunition needs to be separated from it, but there's always room for lots of problems."

Another bill, Senate File 459, would allow employees to keep guns in their vehicles while in their workplace parking lot. The gun must be locked away inside of the vehicle and out of plain sight.

This bill could bring a potential debate regarding second amendment and property owner rights. Currently, employers can prohibit guns on their property.

"Let's be very clear, the second amendment of the U.S. Constitution says 'a well regulated militia being necessary for the security of the free state, the right from people being able to bear arms will not be infringed,' said Jochum. "And so, that second amendment has gone through many, many court rulings through the years."

Property owners would still have the right to prohibit guns inside of their businesses. They would not be held liable to any incidents as a result of their employee storing a firearm on their parking lot.

Ashley Scott

Reporter, Dubuque

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