Iowa lawmakers pushing bill to allow stun guns on college campuses

DAVENPORT, Iowa -- Lawmakers in Iowa are considering allowing college students to carry weapons like stun guns on campus.

The bill prevents public colleges and universities from making rules that keep nonprojectile, high-voltage weapons off campus. The weapons that would be allowed are made to immobilize a person, as long as it doesn't generate a projectile.

On Tuesday, April 16, the House passed the bill 60 to 37.

Owner of Davenport Guns, Jeanelle Westrom, said she hopes the bill passes through the senate next.

"Any laws that pass that help people not be victims, I'm for," Wesyrom said.  "Anything that gives somebody confidence, that they feel like they can protect themselves, gives them a less likelihood of being attacked. And that's really what we want - is people not to be attacked. We don't want victims."

According to a report by KCCI, Republican State Representative Matt Windschitl, said since anyone 18 and older can carry weapons like these, they should be allowed on college campuses.

Opponents of the bill are concerned stun guns will fall into the wrong hands.

"It can be a good thing, it can be a bad thing," said Noel Grantham, a psychology major at Scott County Community College. "I think it'd be a good thing for the safety of others and yourself.. but also a bad thing because it can get into the hands of the wrong people -- college kids."

The president of Des Moines Area Community College said he would prefer to keep weapons out of students' hands.

"We're just concerned any device that could harm someone could be used where it should not be used," said community college President Rob Denson.

"The benefits for a student or faculty to fend off an attacker or rape far outweigh someone doing something stupid with it," Windschitl said.

In Iowa, adults do not need a permit to carry a stun gun; this law was clarified in a bill passed in 2018, reported KCCI.  Weapons like this are still considered dangerous weapons.

Read More: Iowa Supreme Court labels all stun guns as ‘dangerous weapons’

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