Secretary of State Office Inadvertantly Kills RKBA Amendment!

My fellow Iowans,

I have unexpected and bad news to report.

A short time ago, I learned that all progress to add your Right to Keep and Bear Arms to the Iowa Constitution appears to have been undone. Amending the Iowa Constitution is an extremely long and challenging task. The process to do this is laid out in Article 10 of the state constitution and among those requirements is a mandate for public notification.

Less than 48 hours ago, I learned that last year Iowa Secretary of State Paul Pate’s office failed to uphold their duty for legal publication of our constitutional amendment. In matters such as ours, the constitution requires a public notification for a minimum of 3 months prior to the election of a new General Assembly of the Iowa legislature. This responsibility rests with the Iowa Secretary of State’s office and it is with extreme frustration that I must report this constitutionally mandated requirement was not fulfilled. Because of this failure, last year’s vote and all of our work leading up to it appear to have been undone.

In summary:
When you try to amend the state constitution there several requirements that must be met. Including a formal public notification. The Secretary of State’s office is responsible for this notification. Iowa Secretary of State Paul Pate failed to meet this requirement, and as a result, it appears that last year’s vote and all of our work has been wiped away. Because of the Secretary of State’s complete failure, we must now go back to square one of the constitutional amendment process.

Make no mistake; there are a lot, A LOT of people in Des Moines right now who do not want to see this made public. Not right now. Not like this. But I believe firmly in transparency and honesty in leadership. There are a tremendous number of you who are reading this who’ve sacrificed your time and your money, pouring yourselves and your resources into this endeavor. We’ve worked for years to put the pieces in place to make this amendment happen. Knowing all of that has been undone due to a technicality and an elected official’s failure to act makes me sick and that is why I’ve chosen to share this information as soon as possible.

Each of you reading this has been wronged, and you deserve to be made aware of it. Those of you who’ve contributed to our efforts deserve a public apology from the Secretary of State.

Secretary Pate has contacted IFC leadership to offer his most sincere apologies and accept full responsibility while reiterating his support for this amendment. The Secretary of State’s office is reviewing all legal means to potentially right this ship, but options appear to be limited. IFC is conducting its independent review. IFC has made our frustration and disappointment abundantly clear to the Secretary of State’s office and requested a public apology be made to IFC members.

To be clear, I bear some responsibility in all of this. I failed to check to see that the Secretary of State completed his legally required responsibility. This fact is particularly tough to swallow as Paul Pate has stood alongside us, speaking directly to IFC members proclaiming his support for our cause, claiming to be “right there with you making sure that your voice is heard.” With those words and actions in mind, I took for granted that the simple task of publishing our amendment would get done and failed to provide the necessary oversight. For that, I apologize.

I believe it’s critically important that you hear this message straight from us. The Iowa Firearms Coalition proudly claims the mantle of Iowa’s leading Second Amendment advocacy group. We work extremely hard to do things the right way.

Other groups, other gun owners talk a big game, but IFC leads (our list of pro-gun owner victories bears this out). IFC members are the first to hear this news, and by breaking this story, we’ve shown ourselves once again the leaders on all things 2A related in Iowa. Whether it’s good news and cause for celebration or bad news about a monumental setback you deserve honest and timely communication about what’s going on and that’s what we provide.

With that established it is vital that you recognize a few critical facts as we move forward.

One, the need for an RKBA amendment remains. This apparent setback does not change the fact that there is nothing in the Iowa Constitution saying the People of Iowa have a Right to Keep and Bear Arms in this state. IFC will fight to enshrine your rights in the state constitution in the weeks, months, and years to come, for a long as it takes, regardless of any setback or false start. What we’re trying to accomplish will have an impact on Iowans not just now but for generations to come. And it is for this reason that we must do this is the right way. We must go about our business such a manner that there cannot be a single doubt about our intentions or any reason to call into question the validity of our work.

In addition to this massive undertaking, the Iowa Firearms Coalition will once again be pushing an aggressive agenda during the 2019 legislative session. Expect to see bills addressing the permitting process and how and where you may carry in Iowa.

Every day, far too many Iowans – parents, workers, lawful citizens – risk felony charges merely because they crossed some imaginary line outside a school or workplace while choosing to carry protection for themselves and their loved ones legally. Expect to see these items addressed in 2019.

And as always plan to see plenty of drama and hand-wringing from our opposition.

In closing I’d like to reiterate, we’ve suffered what appears to be a significant setback. This undertaking and our cause in general, has always been a contentious matter. To have years of work negated by an elected official’s failure to perform his job has taken everyone by surprise. But let it be known the Iowa Firearms Coalition remains steadfast in our desire to enshrine your God-given, natural Right to Keep and Bear Arms in the Iowa Constitution and we will not waiver from our goal. What should have taken four years will now take longer. As frustrating as this is we cannot, and we will not stop. Our cause is too great to give up on.

At this point, if you’re still reading this and you’re upset and looking for something to do, this is what we need from you. Contact your legislator now and make sure they understand that Iowans want, need and deserve this RKBA Amendment. They didn’t screw this process up, but the fact of the matter is we need them to act on this matter. Please helps us drive home this fact.

I take a tremendous amount of pride in what we do and everything we have accomplished together. Thank you all for your support and commitment to our cause, both now and in the future.

Kurt Liske
President, Iowa Firearms Coalition

Our readers said:

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  1. George Mickley says:

    I am very disappointed in Secretary of State, Pate. I sure wish I hadn’t read this at almost 11 PM, right before going to bed! So, can we get it started again this legislative session? Can we redraft a new Bill, and start the process over, and, hopefully, only loose one year?

    • IFCAdmin says:

      Yes. We haven’t give up on the Amendment. We’re still going to push to see it passed in 2019. It’s early in the process and we’re still evaluating all options.

  2. Aaron Lerberg says:

    This is disheartening to read and crushing to all of those who have worked so hard to move this forward. Now is not the time to give up or give in to conspiracy theories on why this happened. Get involved, write your House Representative and Senator. This is a setback but not the end of the fight. If you haven’t been involved, get involved.

  3. Norlyn Baker says:

    Disappointing, disheartening and a setback, yes. A defeat, no. Time to double down on courage and resolve to keep Iowa a stronghold for liberty. This is not the Alamo but we do have to remember and continue the fight to win.

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