Legislative Funnel Update

The legislative funnel is fast approaching, and IFC priority legislation is set up for success as constitutional carry still looms.

The good news is that HJR13 and SJR10, companion resolutions on the Freedom Amendment, adding strong protections for the right to keep and bear arms to Iowa’s Constitution, have cleared the necessary hurdles and are ready to move forward in both chambers. Even better, the Des Moines Register released a poll last week indicating that a healthy majority of Iowans support the amendment. That is excellent publicity for the amendment, and it also provides an effective fact-check to the recent and profoundly flawed poll conducted by the gun-control lobbyists claiming massive opposition. The sticking point for many is the amendment’s requirement for the protection of “strict scrutiny.” Gun-control groups are wasting no time to spend money and are spending heavily trying to twist public perception of this language with false rhetoric.

The Family Defense Act and DNR reforms have also cleared the hurdles required before the funnel. Both of these bills are requiring a lot of leg work from our team as we clarify details, and get other powerful interest groups, county attorneys, and influential voices on board. The NRA lobbyist in Iowa has been working with our lobbyist to clear the path for these bills and we are optimistic for their passage.

The bad news regards Permitless Carry and the tragic drama surrounding it.  The Permitless Carry effort was carried over from last year when the Judiciary Committee removed a similar bill from its agenda on the day following the Parkland, FL school murders. The language in the original bill wasn’t optimal, and key committee members recently agreed to adopt IFC’s preferred language, as found in HF385. The bill, SF165, was set for a Senate Judiciary meeting last week when it was abruptly pulled during a pre-meeting caucus.

As background, it was almost two years ago today that Stand Your Ground legislation hit roadblocks because of a campaign of aggressive and false attacks directed at Senator Brad Zaun over his support of the bill from a less than helpful “gun rights organization.” We had to address rumors and deal with distractions before finally advancing the bill.

Today is Groundhog Day.

Now we find ourselves in an even worse spot as almost every pro-2A, NRA “A” rated, and IFC endorsed member of the Iowa Senate is being insulted and lied about by the same organization. Excellent legislators and allies have had their names dragged through the mud, and a false hysteria has been created that only benefits one “organization.” Meanwhile, “Gun Sense” legislators are sitting by and watching the infighting, and our bills stall while the embarrassing failure of our state legislature to recognize permitless carry continues. Senators Schultz and Dawson have now publicly acknowledged that these tactics and the tense environment have led to the bill not yet being considered by their committee.

Discussions on the matter will continue during this funnel week. It remains a toss-up as to whether Permitless Carry will advance. We regret to appear to be engaging in infighting, but this other organization has never helped Iowans regain respect and protection for our rights. Among other acts, their outrageous and false personal attacks on legislators have tended to make our agenda toxic at the Capitol and have unfairly tainted legislators’ perceptions of those Iowans for whom Second Amendment issues are essential.

We will keep you posted of any further developments on constitutional carry.


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  1. francis Picray says:

    Richard, I appreciate all that you do for gun rights in Iowa. I understand your reluctance to name the organization that is acidic to our cause. It plain pisses me off that there are those who would interfere and keep good Iowans from enjoying their God given rights. You might not want to mention names, but as a freedom loving Iowan, I have no such reservation. Most in the gun community know who we are talking about and no quarter should be given to the IGO, dorr community. We know that through their tactics they have done nothing but prevent favorable gun legislation. They have been caught, red handed, in the cookie jar. We need to inform the legislators that we are not like tub of acid that keeps insulting and name calling good people who are trying to do the right thing. I only hope we can overcome this toxic bunch and run them out of town.

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