Final update on the Suppressor Bill

This is a bit long, but trust us, you’re going to want to read on…

As you are aware, your Iowa Firearms Coalition (IFC) has been working relentlessly on the passage of the suppressor legalization bill this year.  Your efforts, more relentless still, kept the bill alive longer than many expected, even after the bill was first killed by Senator Robert Hogg (D-19) in the Senate Judiciary Committee after it passed in the House with an overwhelming 83-to-16 bipartisan majority.

One man sank your bill–a common sense safety bill that would have expanded and further protected your Second Amendment rights.  But like John Paul Jones, we had not yet begun to fight.   With all you good folks doing your part to apply the pressure, we immediately went to work with the House and Senate leadership.  They felt the heat and we were assured in no uncertain terms that the suppressor measure would be brought back in a leadership bill at the end of the year.  In droves, a solid majority of legislators in both the House and the Senate came to us and pledged their support if the bill came up for a vote again.

Indeed that promise began to be made good last night, beginning in the House where a House Appropriations bill was amended to include suppressor legalization language.  This amendment and bill passed once more with a healthy majority, and from there it was sent across the Rotunda to the Senate Appropriations Committee.  With apprehensive optimism, IFC members at the Capitol held their breaths, crossed their fingers and expected the best.  And why not?  The Senate is controlled by Democrats and 20 of them pledged to support your bill.  Combined with the 24 Republicans who pledged their support as well, we had 44 Senators out of 50 in the Senate who promised they would vote to expand your civil rights.  It was a done deal.  Right?

WRONG!!!

At the eleventh hour, when that final vote came, ONLY ONE of the Democrats who pledged to vote for your bill–Senator Dennis Black (D-15), who sadly is retiring this year–came through and kept their promise, and the bill was lost!  The final count was 26 against, 21 for, with 3 absent…It was a vote along party lines.

Now, the Iowa Firearms Coalition is a non-partisan organization, and no one is more proud than we are to include many fine men and women of the Democratic Party as members and allies.  Further, words cannot express our gratitude to the Democrats in the Iowa House who have stood by us–and you–on this and other important gun legislation in the past, such as making Iowa a shall-issue state.  The bonds of American citizenship transcend all divisions of party after all, and our sincerest thanks go out to all Democrats who work to protect and defend the civil rights of Iowans.

But non-partisanship aside, honesty and integrity matter more than anything, and one thing we cannot tolerate both as citizens and IFC members is being lied to!  It just so happens that it was Senate Democrats who did the lying this time, and unfortunately this is a reoccurring theme for IFC: Senate Democrats constantly oppose common sense firearms safety legislation, and when a measure is defeated, it is nearly always at the hands of a Senate Democrat.  IFC is not at all eager to be partisan, but the reality cannot be avoided either:

The only way to advance pro-firearms civil rights legislation is to get rid of the current crop of Senate Democrats and put Republicans in their places, plain and simple.  This leaves us no choice but to enter the ring this election season and work against Senate Democrats to affect an electoral outcome that will allow us to better protect and expand your rights!

We are reluctant to take this stand, but we’ve been painted into a corner and we no longer have a choice.  So let it be known to all who betrayed us and turned their backs on the rights of Iowans tonight: Polish your resumes and start looking for a new job, because we’re coming for you at the ballot box!

For all you IFC members who want to help, get ready because pretty soon we’re going to need a bunch of volunteers…And if history is any indicator of your dedication, Senate Democrats have suddenly got a lot to be afraid of.

Fighting for your Second Amendment Rights in Iowa,
Barry B. Snell
IFC Communications Director
NRA Member

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