Weekly Legislative Update: Omnibus Firearms Bill Tied To State Budget

Those who expect to reap the blessings of freedom, must, like men, undergo the fatigue of supporting it.
-Thomas Paine

Omnibus Firearms Bill added to 2015 State Budget Bill
New Advocacy Campaign –> Pass the Omnibus Firearms Bill in its entirety this year!

 

Week 19 Review

Wednesday the Iowa House of Representatives passed its version the 2015 Standings Bill (aka the Appropriations Bill). This bill essentially sets the state budget for the coming fiscal year, without passing it we’d see a state government shutdown.

When the House passed their version of this year’s budget bill they included an amendment that tacks the Omnibus Firearms Bill on to the budget bill.

This means the Senate will have to either approve the budget bill, with the Omnibus Firearms Bill language included, or amend the budget bill to remove the firearms bill. This is significant. We say that because the Senate Democrat’s leadership (Gronstal, Sodders, Jochum & Bolkcom) have been purposely ignoring the firearms bill for a reason. They’re worried they and their members might have to actually do their jobs and vote on a bill some people might not like. They’d rather skirt their responsibilities as legislators than have to actually declare their positions, go on record and vote on a pro-Second Amendment bill.

They’ll all tell you they support the Second Amendment, but their continued inaction and reluctance to actually do anything “pro-gun” proves they’re just blowing smoke in our faces. They’re well aware that if they were to schedule the Omnibus Firearms Bill for a vote that it would pass. Why else do you think they’d repeatedly resort to petty political games like not scheduling bills for a vote? The answer is simple, they’re putting the desires of nanny-state gun control radicals ahead of the people of Iowa.

Fortunately, now they have to take some sort of action.

Week 20 Preview

Unless they want to be responsible for a government shutdown the Senate will have to approve, or amend the budget bill the House has sent them. This could happen as early as this week.

They can try to strip out the Omnibus Firearms Bill, but if they do they’ll have to vote on it (something they’ve been desperately trying to avoid).

If the Senate makes any changes to the budget bill it will go back to the House because both chambers need to be in agreement before a bill can be passed. Remember, the Iowa House has approved the Omnibus Firearms Bill three times. We have every confidence that the House would stick the firearms bill right back in the budget bill if the Senate were to remove it. NOTE: the House’s commitment to Second Amendment issues has been absolutely outstanding, we hope you’ll take a moment to thank them for their continued support of our cause.

There’s still a few different scenarios that might play out, but the most likely is that we’ll end up with what’s known as a ‘conference committee’ on the budget bill. A conference committee is what happens when the House and Senate cannot agree on the specific details of a bill. A small number of Senators and Representatives form a committee to reach common ground on a bill. In this case, it’ll most likely be the leadership of House and Senate working out their differences on the budget bill.

If a conference committee is formed, we have reason to believe the Senate leadership will attempt to water down the Omnibus Firearms Bill language any way they can. They’ll try to get by with the least amount of pro-Second Amendment content as possible. This is unacceptable. We know the firearms bill has the votes to pass in its entirety. It has overwhelming support from rank and file Republicans and Democrats. Repeated bi-partisan votes in the House prove this very fact.

If the Senate leadership tries to pare down the Omnibus Firearms Bill in any way it only proves what we’ve been saying all along: they think their radical gun control agenda trumps the will of the people of Iowa.

What You Can Do

New Advocacy Campaign –> Pass the Omnibus Firearms Bill in its entirety this year!

If the budget bill ends up in a conference committee it’s imperative the House and Senate leadership have your voice ringing in their ears.

Leadership in the Senate consists of:
mike.gronstal@legis.iowa.gov; steve.sodders@legis.iowa.gov; pam.jochum@legis.iowa.gov; joe.bolkcom@legis.iowa.gov

Leadership in the House of Representatives is made of:
kraig.paulsen@legis.iowa.gov; matt.windschitl@legis.iowa.gov; linda.upmeyer@legis.iowa.gov; chris.hagenow@legis.iowa.gov

They need to be getting the message loud and clear – we want the entire Omnibus Firearms Bill passed this year.

Our latest Advocacy Campaign makes sending this message extremely easy. Of course phone calls are always useful as well.

515-281-3371 to leave a message for the Senate leadership.

515-281-3221 to leave a message for House leadership.

Final note

On Friday Minnesota Governor (D) Mark Dayton signed a pro-Second Amendment bill into law. The bill was Minnesota’s version of our Omnibus Firearms Bill. It included suppressors, capitol carry, emergency powers limitations and more. All things we’ve been fighting for here in Iowa.

We mention this because Democrats control the majority of the Minnesota legislature. The Minnesota Senate has a Democrat majority. And Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton is a Democrat. But despite their party affiliations elected officials in Minnesota, both Democrats and Republicans worked together to pass their Omnibus Firearms Bill.

So after witnessing this the message to the Iowa Senate leadership is this: Your friends in Minnesota have proved it’s perfectly OK to support pro-Second Amendment laws. They have clearly recognized that protecting and enhancing the rights of law-abiding citizens is a good thing. So, Iowa Senate leaders, what is keeping YOU from doing the same thing for the people of Iowa?


Iowa Firearms Coalition is an entirely volunteer, grassroots, Second Amendment advocacy group. Responsible for bringing uniformity to Iowa’s Concealed Weapons Permitting process, IFC’s members work to protect and enhance Second Amendment rights in Iowa. An affiliate of the National Rifle Association, the IFC actively seeks to foster and promote the shooting sports. Sign up for our email list for the latest on Second Amendment issues in Iowa. You can support our work by becoming a member, or making a donation.

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  1. Gary says:

    Waiting not so patiently for some good news. Made all the phone calls and emails today!

  2. Iowa Marine says:

    Same here,

    If they dont move it to a vote this time, we all need to push for the passage of recall in Iowa. It should have already been passed, and maybe groanstall would get off his high horse and hear the voters. I think its time for some new politicans in Iowa.

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