“Beat Whitey Night” Is Precisely Why The Iowa State Fair Should Allow Visitors To Carry

Three Police Officers Injured By Mob Violence At Iowa State Fair

WHO-TV’s Dave Price filed the report posted above after the 2010 Iowa State Fair. A fair that gained national notoriety after a mob of more than 3o teens ran wild in and around the state fairgrounds on a night proclaimed “Beat Whitey Night.”

The violent mob, which was apparently targeting Caucasian fair goers eventually turned its focus to the police officers dispatched to the fairgrounds to make the area safe. At various points a handful of officers were overwhelmed by the mob, three of them sustaining injuries the process. Eventually tasers and mace had to be used to disperse the angry crowd.

Iowa’s Permit to Carry holders have long complained that they cannot legally carry firearms for the protection of themselves and their loved ones during the Iowa State Fair. Now the Iowa State Fair’s gun ban (they’re specifically exempted from Iowa’s preemption law) is coming under review by the Iowa legislature.

“There are no immediate plans by the legislative panel to consider the Fair Board rules one way or another, said Sen. Wally Horn, D-Cedar Rapids.”

On August 5th a panel of lawmakers decided against changing the ban for 2016, BUT that doesn’t mean this issue is dead. Iowa’s 2017 legislative session will likely see the issue of State Fair Carry introduced as a bill intended to supersede the current law and repeal the Iowa State Fair’s ban on lawful carry.

As word spread about the growing push to legalize carry at the Iowa State Fair our Iowa Firearms Coalition members began voicing reasons for why they, as trained & law-abiding citizens, should be able to exercise their Right to Keep and Bear Arms during the fair, just as they do at every county fair throughout the State of Iowa. Here’s a few of their comments:

Unless they can assign me my very own security detail, which they can’t, they need to allow me to defend myself. I’ve said it for years!
-Kina W.

We have a booth at the fair, and for the most part have a lot of fun with no issues… But we walk in and out with a lot of cash everyday and no way to defend ourselves while moving around in and out
-Scott C.

Kinda ironic the fair board allows guns on the grounds every other month for the local gun shows….
-Jan S.

why is my life worth any less at the fairgrounds?
-Michael W.

Is free speech banned there? Or are certain religious groups or ethnicities not allowed there? If those constitutional rights aren’t banned at The Fair, then why should the right to bear arms?
-Nate S.


The Iowa Firearms Coalition has taken the lead on this issue testifying against the current Iowa State Fair ban at the August 5th review of the law. IFC will continue to push this issue along with other pro-Second Amendment bills in the 2017 legislative session. For updates on State Fair Carry and other Second Amendment issues in Iowa sign up for IFC’s email updates.

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. 

Our readers said:

Write us your thoughts about this post. Be kind & Play nice.
  1. Every gun owner in the state should boycott the fair. The old saying about money talks is still true today.

  2. J says:

    Seems unfair & ironic special board has the power to keep law abiding citizens away from their events, the ones who most would deter crime & actually make it easier for the general safety of the masses!
    with the board concerned about cash flow& income. They are preventing many more folks who might otherwise go spend money &enjoy themselves from attending.
    Yet during non fair event times they allow a gun trade show? It’s not about safety it’s about cash, & the very few officers vs the grand masses of visitors..
    Just put up a huge sign @the gate
    with 15,000 visitors per officer, your odds are high!

  3. Aw says:

    If they allow the people who dont cause issues to bring gun they have to also allow the problem starters carry guns and everyone is too trigger happy nowdays. The 2010 incident would have been even worse if guns were allowed. But I can understand wanting the right but than it’s just a matter of who pulls the gun out and shoots first and how many other victims get hurt aside.

Trackbacks for this post

  1. Iowa Firearms Coalition - August Update

Express your thoughts