• HF2502 – On to the Iowa Governor!

    June 4, 2020

    Iowa Firearms Coalition and our allies in the NRA are celebrating a great victory today in our years-long battle to prevent an unworkable patchwork of weapons regulations across our state. Iowans deserve – and have been insisting upon –minimal, uniform and understandable regulation throughout the state. Without that uniformity, it becomes impractical and perhaps even impossible for law-abiding citizens to travel outside – or even within – their own community while possessing or carrying a defensive weapon. We have long fought to protect and enhance Iowa’s “preemption” statute, Iowa Code 724.28, which was enacted in April 1990, but which has been widely and openly ignored. That will soon change with the passage today of HF2502, which greatly strengthens that law.

    HF2502  is a bill for an act relating to firearms and weapons, including the storage, carrying, possession, or transportation of weapons and the establishment, use, and maintenance of shooting ranges.  This bill passed the House 52-44 in a party-line vote on February 27 of this year. It passed overwhelmingly in the Senate yesterday afternoon. The party-line vote was 32-17. The bill now goes to the Governor for consideration. We fully expect that she will quickly sign it and that it will become effective on July 1.

    Details of the bill:

    Shooting Range Protection

    Provides that cities and counties may not apply and enforce arbitrary regulations and restrictions upon those seeking to establish, use, or maintain an existing shooting range or to improve an existing range. Conditions may not be imposed beyond the requirements of standard zoning and of state law.

    Protection of “Courthouse Carry” from Judicial Overreach

    Provides that a court order prohibiting the lawful carrying, possession, or transportation of a weapon in a county courthouse or other joint-use public facility shall be unenforceable unless the judicial order applies only to a courtroom or a court office, or to a courthouse used only for judicial branch functions.

    Prohibition of Weapons Regulation by Local Governments

    Amends Iowa Code 724.28 to make absolutely clear that only the Iowa Legislature may regulate the ownership, possession, legal transfer, lawful transportation, modification, registration, or licensing of firearms, firearms attachments, or other weapons. (Underlined words are new. The statute previously applied only to firearms.)

    In addition:

    • Local governments may not enact an ordinance, motion, resolution, policy, or amendment to such effect. Such measures are void after July 1, 2020. This will include, for instance, library and park “rules of conduct”.
    • A person adversely affected by the ordinance, measure, enactment, rule, resolution, motion, or policy may file suit in the appropriate court for declaratory and injunctive relief for damages and all damages attributable to the violation. A court shall also award the prevailing party in any such lawsuit reasonable attorney fees and court costs. (Underlined language is new.)
    • Local governments may not regulate the storage of weapons or ammunition. (Exception allowed for storage rules applied to manufacture/distribution of explosive materials.)
    • The bill provides a limited exception to the prohibition on the carrying, possession, or transportation of firearms or other dangerous weapons in the buildings or physical structures located on property under the political subdivision’s control if adequate arrangements are made by the political subdivision to screen persons for firearms or other dangerous weapons and the political subdivision provides armed security personnel inside the building or physical structure where the restriction is to be in effect.

    View Rep. Steven Holt’s closing remarks when HF2502 was passed by his House Public Safety subcommittee on 2/10/2020.

  • Decoration Day (Memorial day)

    May 25, 2020

    Have you ever heard the term “Decoration Day” by someone in your family or among your friends?  We used to refer to Memorial Day as “Decoration Day” for specific reasons.  Sure, we decorate the graves of others over this weekend specifically, but the core of this federal holiday is slowly becoming lost I fear and I wanted to pen a note for your contemplation.  Not for a second am I suggesting we skip placing flowers, flags, and decoration atop the graves of our loved ones, family, and friends of days gone by.  However, this holiday, rightly, is specifically tailored to honor our country’s military personnel whose lives were forfeit while serving in the United States Armed Forces. 

    I make every attempt this weekend each year to think about a soldier’s personal touch on our lives as he or she lived, rather than solely how they gave their life.  I have often heard my dad refer to his then best friend, Howard Cox, who served in Vietnam.  Dad has spoken freely and often about Howard.  It has been obvious to me over the many years he and I have enjoyed together that he misses his friend.  More obvious is the fact they must have been pretty tight.  This year, as I pondered that, I decided to call my Dad up and ask for a better understanding of Howard.

    Howard’s middle name, Max, was applied under grim circumstances. For his uncle, Max Cox was fighting in the Pacific during WWII. Upon his birth Howard’s folks named him Howard Max Cox after his uncle who all feared would not return from the islands alive. Fate saw otherwise, wounded and bound to a stretcher that was hidden so well in the jungle even his brothers in arms couldn’t remember where to find him, Max survived his injuries to return home to his family and infant nephew. Named in no small part for his uncle Max who was looking headlong at death during battle, it was Howard who wouldn’t return home among the living.

    Lance Corporal Howard Max Cox, C CO, 1ST BN, 5TH MARINES, 1ST MARDIV, III MAF, United States Marine Corps was quite a character as near as I can tell.  Just about like any energetic rural Iowa farm boy, he worked hard and played hard.  Dad shared with me several stories, all of which made me smile and a few that made me chuckle.  One or two came with an asterisk of course, “You shouldn’t share that one,” Dad would giggle and mention after he was done reliving it for me…  My Dad and Howard sounded a lot like me and my buddies as he shared some of the stories – even the ‘screwdrivers’ they mixed up in college one night with vodka and orange juice that foolishly continued to be labeled ‘screwdrivers’ long after they had run out of orange juice – that sounded eerily familiar. 

    Howard was a phenomenal athlete as I understand it.  He strong and sleek, as most farm boys are, and he set records in track, baseball, and football at Bedford High School in South West Iowa.  He and my dad were best friends in High School and both worked to save up some money to attend college in Maryville, MO.  Howard mowed ditches for the county and Dad worked the farm and took odd jobs to fund college.  Howard intended on becoming a coach and from what Dad describes of his intellect, drive, and leadership qualities, he’d have been a fine coach. 

    I’ve attached a couple of pictures I found and Dad verified they were most certainly Howard.  Dad joined the Peace Corps and was sent to Iran for a couple of years.  A little over a year after Dad left for the Middle East, Howard joined the Marines – August of 1967.  Howard and the 5th Marines were sent into Hue City after the Tet Offensive to drive out the NVA.  The Siege of Hue, as it is often called, was a terrible and bloody prolonged battle.  Howard was wounded by small arms fire and evacuated to a military hospital in Da Nang on February 21st, 1968.  Howard died the following day at the age of 22, on the 22nd of February. 

    When I showed my Dad the pictures I had found, he mentioned something profound and solemn to me.  “The first and last time I ever saw Howard in his Marine uniform, was in his casket.”  Dad had returned from two years in Iran with the Peace Corps and was headed into the Army right after Howard’s funeral.  To see your best friend in his uniform for the first and last time, laid perfectly in a coffin, as you prepare to head off to basic training must have been a very heavy lift for my Dad.  The lowering of his voice and change in timber indicated to me he was most likely thinking of standing over his friend as he mentioned that small but enormous truth to me.  Dad and I are a lot alike, and I imagine he even remembered things as subtle as the scent of the church that day, the tear-stained cheek of Gladys Cox, Howard’s biggest and most animated fan at his ball games, and certainly Kenneth’s warm handshake and embrace as a father committing his son’s body to the Earth.  Those thoughts rattle around in my head, as they are the kinds of things I too remember when I attempt to help others through their losses.  Dad uses his five senses.  As do I.  I wonder if he occasionally wishes he didn’t, just as I. 

    I seek not to come across as the bummer of an otherwise great barbequing weekend for you all.  Rather, as a reminder of the incumbent responsibility on us all to consider this day in context as we remember, honor, and mourn the loss of this brotherhood of military service.  I leave you with this from the Gospel of John.  15:13 – Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.

    -Michael Ware – IFC Chairman

  • IFC, do you support the NRA?

    May 18, 2020

    IFC is often asked if we support the NRA. It helps to seek the context of such a question. In every question or statement, we should always search for the context behind it so we can ascertain the premise. When we don’t, we skip vital information and risk arriving at the wrong conclusions. Always be cognizant of this.

    Some people are searching for our affiliations when they ask us about the NRA. IFC has worked its tail off for years to move from being an affiliate club to the one and only official NRA State Association in Iowa. Through years of hard work and perseverance, we accomplished this lofty goal in January of 2019. This coveted recognition is reserved for the very best of the best and we continued to work daily with the NRA.

    The legislation alone that we’ve pushed forth with NRA-ILA is akin to moving mountains. If you look at where Iowa was just a bit over a decade ago, things were average at best. With Shall Issue, Castle Doctrine, Preemption, Stand Your Ground, dove hunting, suppressors and short barreled rifles/shotguns, repeal of a dozen bans ranging from Youth Shooting to ATV and Bow Hunting Carry, the list of liberties opened up to Iowans is nearly too long to list.

    From a “programs” standpoint, as the NRA Official State Association here in Iowa, we brought the first Refuse to be a Victim classes into the fold. IFC arranged the first NRA School Shield training for Iowa’s Law Enforcement community. IFC and NRA work together to put on various meetings, rallies, and our huge 2A Day at the Iowa Capitol each year. Some of IFC’s sponsored shooters took top marks at the NRA Nationals in 2019. These are all things that would be exponentially harder without NRA’s cooperation and we’re glad we work together on your behalf. We do these things for others, not ourselves.

    The other question we see is one regarding subjects like Wayne LaPierre or specific allegiances at NRA. People want to know if we support Wayne LaPierre or we denounce him. Frankly, that’s a false choice at this point, and we’re not entertaining it. I, like you, have serious questions I expect to have answered about operations within the NRA. However, I also understand that NRA is in the fight of its life against the behemoth we know as New York State for their right to even exist, as they are chartered out of the State of New York. Every shred of communication they offer can and likely will be used against them in New York’s court. Thus, I understand not offering up words that will be twisted in court at this moment. My hope is the NRA gets done with this suit, moves the charter to a friendly state, and we learn the truth about the questions we have.

    I have no doubt mistakes have been made. Why? Because the NRA is comprised of human beings and we’re prone to error. I won’t be dicing up anyone without the full facts and I won’t complicate the issue by juxtaposing what I hear with brash statements, conspiracy theories, or grand claims. I have no doubt mistakes have been made, but frankly, I’m more concerned with how the mistakes have been realized and corrected than I am with playing the blame game. I worked for years under the kind of short-sighted management that was more interested in blowing their stack over a mistake than illuminating and repairing the core problem so we could avoid the mistake a second time. I’m chiefly interested in those kinds of healthy and wise actions.  

    I recognize NRA has external and internal challenges. We all do, whether as organizations, corporations, congregations, or families. IFC holds the relationship we enjoy with NRA in the highest of value. I won’t let a series of well-timed hit pieces coming from New York publications and New York authors while the state of New York simultaneously shakes down the NRA, reshape my fundamental reverence for the organization that has done so much for 2nd Amendment virtues over the span of nearly 150 years. I want the facts, but I’m willing to wait until they become available. If I form an opinion without them, I’m guilty of the same nonsense our opposition employs as they lobby against our fundamental civil rights on a daily basis. That simply won’t do…

  • Plan ahead for Spring Turkey amid COVID19 Concerns

    April 5, 2020

    While some states are shutting hunting down, Iowa persists with safe practice recommendations. Good on them! We received this from the Iowa DNR this morning:

    If you are a spring turkey hunter, the DNR encourages you to plan ahead and get your hunting license and turkey tag at least 7-10 days in advance so tags have time to arrive in the mail before the season begins.

    The rapidly evolving situation with COVID-19 is causing many retailers to change hours or how they do business, including those that sell hunting and fishing licenses. Consider buying online or visiting a retailer sooner rather than later. Don’t wait until the last minute if you want to have your tags on time.

    For youth season hunters: Youth season is April 10-12. Remember, if the youth does not fill their tag during the youth season, they may use it during the four remaining spring seasons until filled. The key is to purchase the youth season tag before season closes on April 12 because once the season is over, the tags can no longer be purchased.  

    When you purchase online, your hunting license will be available immediately for download. Tags are mailed to the address on your record and will arrive in 7-10 business days. Thanks for planning ahead!

    Stay safe during Iowa’s spring turkey seasons 

    Protecting yourself during the COVID-19 national pandemic starts with following the guidance from state and national health experts – maintain at least six feet between each other, wash your hands with soap for 20 seconds, cover your cough, stay home if you feel sick and avoid groups of 10 or more people. These are unprecedented times and personal health and safety takes top priority.

    Iowa’s spring turkey seasons begin with the youth-only season April 10-12, followed by the first general season April 13-16, second season April 17-21, third season April 22-28 and fourth season April 29-May 17. There is also the archery only season April 13-May 17. Hunters buying their tags online will need to plan accordingly and do it early.

    Spending time in Iowa’s wild places this spring hunting turkeys is possible. The key is to follow the safety advice from health experts.

  • The Perils of Obedience

    April 2, 2020

    Friends of IFC,

    I had been saving the idea I put forth to you now for a rainy day.  I wanted to avoid scaring anyone as I challenged you to think properly through a subject fraught with controversy.  I personally see this very simply, but too few do.  As I pen notes such as these, I know I’m writing to an educated and steadfast crowd of patriots.  What I’m unable to quantify is just how deeply you all believe in your civil rights.  Scarce among you are those who don’t recognize “Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety,” as goes one of Benjamin Franklin’s most famous quotes.  We continue to see various states, government sanctions, and high-powered proclamations telling us what we can and cannot do and that doesn’t pass the smell test for me.

    Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety

    -Benjamin Franklin

    Do you know where your rights come from?  As much as I’m itching to tell you, I’m going to resist.  This question you should know, but if you don’t, search long and hard for the answer.  I’ll offer you a hint.  I will share with you where rights DO NOT come from.  Rights don’t come from man.  Why?  Any right conveyed to you by man is one that man himself will most assuredly curtail or remove.  Think about it.  Anything granted by man can be removed by man.  Are you comfortable with the idea that your civil rights are offered up by a seemingly benevolent government when that government is comprised of men that can later negate them at will?  What about only negating them when people are growing sick?  Would that make you more comfortable?  …And just how sick would you need to be in order for a man – the man – to remove your rights?  Cue Ben Franklin’s quote above.

    Professor Stanley Milgram with his shock generator

    I’ve studied the origin of rights and I’ve also thought through how those in positions of perceived authority offer you the notion that when they’re in charge your submission is not only encouraged, but correct.  During my research, I ran across a study from Yale in the 60s by a psychologist named Stanley Milgram.  Milgram was concerned that acts of genocide, like those he’d followed during the Nuremberg War Criminal trials, post-WWII, could be propagated over and over should a people adhere to obedience.  But it wasn’t simply obedience at the core of the concern.  It was obedience to authority that was problematic for Milgram.  Thus, he devised a procedure to offer a test to see how people randomly chosen would respond to the power of authority. 

    The experiment surrounded increasing electric shocks, a “learner,” a “teacher,” and of course an “experimenter” who was dressed in a lab coat, complete with a clipboard, and all the accouterments necessary to ooze “authority” over the unsuspecting subjects.  The rates of shock were labeled and the highest rates were clearly labeled as a danger to health.     

    Milgram sought to quantify how far people would go in terms of obedience while harming another person.  Milgram appeared equally interested in how easily influenced or coerced people would become by those in perceived positions of authority.  He believed this would indicate an answer to his question of how likely another atrocity like those committed by Germans in WWII would be.  Below is a video of the experiment with conclusions at the end.  I suggest you watch it in its entirety. 

    Milgram summed his findings in an article titled, “The Perils of Obedience” which is easily found with a Google search.  Granted, many have criticized Milgram for the testing locale, the use of only men, and some other variables.  However, the point was not lost on me, when I saw the rates of shock people were offering coupled with far too many that completed that testing in full.

    Authority will make you do things you never thought you would or could actually do.  Authority isn’t automatically bad.  We just have to be darned careful about Whose authority we’re submitting to and whose we are not.  Don’t hear what I’m not saying.  I am not for one moment suggesting you ignore best practices when dealing with a highly communicable disease.  I’m of the opinion that only a few of us actually benefit from a restriction, as the balance of us love our neighbors, friends, and family enough we can do what is best without the hand of government on our shoulders.  What I am placing before you is the necessary mandate to guard your liberty from attack.  In times such as these, we see opportunistic politicians and self-proclaimed experts exercising their authority too far and wide.  Be careful and think through what you’re being told to do.  Watch and compare how states outside your own handle things. 

    St. Augustine – “libido dominandi” – the lust to dominate – Writing during the collapse of the Roman Empire, St. Augustine offered vital insight into the core premise of freedom. A man was no longer a slave by nature or by law according to St. Augustine. No. His freedom was a function of his moral state. A man had as many masters as he had vices. This precept is the foundation for an intricate form of social control over man and continues to grow nearly unchecked today.

    Augustine of Hippo – 13Nov 354 – 28Aug 430 AD

    I encourage you all to love your neighbor as yourself.  I’ve read that before and many know where.  Don’t place them or yourself at risk.  But diligently observe the authority figures in our state and nation. Watch both their actions and their attitudes. Are they seemingly eager or reluctant to exercise power over their fellow citizens? Do they incline toward liberty and personal responsibility or do they default to strict regimentation, enforced by the government’s police powers?  Those are character traits of which you should be mindful, and they indicate the core of a person. We must choose our representatives and public servants wisely. 

    I began this communication to you all with a reference to saving this sentiment for a rainy day.  I was reminded today in an op/ed offered by Andrew Napolitano, what St. Augustine branded, “libido dominandi” – the lust to dominate – when government chooses between liberty and force.  Where do you think they’ll land if the government entertains this false choice?  Be very careful my friends, it is pouring outside.

    In liberty,

    Michael Ware – IFC Chairman

  • NRA Cuts Salaries during COVID19 concerns…

    March 25, 2020

    You’ve all seen these headlines more than likely.  Some among us will point a boney finger and assume the worst.  There are others who aren’t sure what to make of it but understand NRA is doing what they need to do.  Me?  I find myself interested in the facts of the matter.

    NRA’s income isn’t offered up a quarter BILLION dollars at a time, as is Nanny Bloomberg’s anti-liberty, anti-gun network.  Or even like taxpayer-funded entities that work against your civil rights.  No.  The money NRA operates with rests solely on our discretionary giving and membership.  Income from membership is a bit easier to forecast.  Each stable organization can take a glimpse at where they are, review where they’ve been, and make a reasonable assumption on where they’ll end up, all other things being equal.  But giving based on attendance at events?  That’s a bit tougher.

    When NRA holds NRAAM, the National Rifle Association Annual Meeting, donations can often be significant.   When various groups and communities hold “Friends of NRA” banquets, money is generated.  There is giving associated with gun show tables, presence at rallies, and high-profile meetings.  And that is saying nothing about other events all kinds of organizations hold all across America.

    So…  When gatherings cease and folks press the ‘pause’ button on their spending, NRA is in turn compelled to be cautious about their spending and not outdrive their headlights.  Do I believe things will return to normal pretty darned quickly?  Yes.  Is NRA wise to pump the brakes real quick regardless?  Yes.

    Please don’t fear the support you’ll have.  NRA staff members and many at IFC are in daily communication.  And by daily, I mean 7 days a week, not 5.  IFC, as a volunteer org, doesn’t worry about paying a staff.  We do, however, appreciate people continuing to keep their memberships current and offering what they can to our political action committee, IFC PAC.  Your loyalty allows us to keep the ball rolling no matter what and we thank you for it.

    NRA’s posture on spending is a normal reaction to their income.  Don’t let that freak you out.

    You might wonder just how important your NRA State Association (IFC) truly is, especially in times like this.  As noted, NRA and IFC work hand in hand daily.  I can’t stress that enough.  The fate of Iowan’s 2A virtues rests with our ability to work together seamlessly through adversity.  If NRA stumbles, we’re here in Iowa to help grab their arm so they don’t fall.  The inverse is true as well.  I see the notion that “I’m an NRA member, so there’s no need to join IFC”, as one that hasn’t been thoroughly considered.

    As we slowly but surely return to “normal” – and we will get there – there are no excuses to avoid being members of both organizations.  Even as COVID19 began to alter our daily habits, IFC and NRA were helping the Iowa Department of Public Safety and communicating with countless Sheriff’s Offices in successful efforts to quickly maintain and streamline access to Permits to Carry or Acquire.  Did you see anyone else working 7 days a week to protect your civil rights at a time of crisis?  Nope.

    NRA’s posture on spending is a normal reaction to their income.  Don’t let that freak you out.  In this stressful time, it is important that you should know and support those who are on your side.  We are stronger together. If you are not yet a member of IFC, please join with us.
    In liberty,

    Michael Ware – IFC Chairman

  • NSSF – Firearms Accidents at Record Lows!

    March 25, 2020

    NSSF Gratified to See Firearm Accidents Reaching Record Low Level

    NEWTOWN, Conn.—The National Shooting Sports Foundation® (NSSF®) is pleased to report that unintentional firearm fatalities reached their lowest level ever, according to the latest data from the National Safety Council’s just-released Injury Facts Report 2018.

    NSSF, as the trade association for the firearm industry and leading proponent of safe gun handling and storage, applauded the report, which shows fatal firearm accidents at their lowest level since record keeping began in 1903. The firearm industry has for the last two decades provided more than 100 million firearm locking devices with new firearms sold and through its award-winning Project ChildSafe® program—the largest and most comprehensive firearm safety program in the country. The industry’s educational materials are widely distributed to gun owners by firearm manufacturers, retailers, instructors and others nationwide.

    “As an industry that prioritizes firearm safety, it is extremely good news to see this record decline in gun-related accidents,” said Joe Bartozzi, NSSF’s President and CEO. “It’s gratifying to know that our industry’s gun safety efforts, including our long-running Project ChildSafe firearm safety education program, are contributing to helping save lives.”

    With approximately 100 million gun owners in the country, the data demonstrates that firearms can be safely owned and used and accidents prevented as long as secure storage guidelines are followed. “Securely storing firearms when not in use is the No. 1 way to help prevent accidents, thefts and misuse,” said Bartozzi.

    The National Safety Council data showed that for 2018 there were 458 firearm fatalities, accounting for less than 1 percent of unintentional fatalities from all principal causes. In the last two decades (1998-2018) accidental firearm deaths have declined by 47 percent. “Even one accidental firearm fatality is one too many,” said Bartozzi. “We’re aiming for zero, and this is great progress.”

    With reports of many people purchasing their first firearm due to safety concerns over the COVID-19 pandemic, Bartozzi reminds new gun owners to use the safety device that came packaged with their new firearm when their gun is not under their direct control, to strongly consider using an additional safety device such as a lock box or lockable gun case, and to take advantage of the many gun safety resources at ProjectChildSafe.org, such as this video on the 10 commandments of firearm safety.

    Also, with so many children at home because of COVID-19-related school closures, Bartozzi encourages parents to take time to have “the talk” with their kids about gun safety and to use tools such as the McGruff on Gun Safety videos and a video on how parents can talk to their children about gun safety on the Project ChildSafe website.

    Learn more at ProjectChildSafe.org.


    About Project ChildSafe
    NSSF, the trade association of the firearm industry, launched Project ChildSafe in 1999 (originally as Project HomeSafe). Since 1999, the program has provided more than 38 million free firearm safety kits and gun locks to firearm owners in all 50 states through partnerships with thousands of law enforcement agencies across the country. That’s in addition to the more than 70 million free locking devices manufacturers have included, and continue to include, with new firearms sold since 1998. While helping to prevent accidents among children is a focus, Project ChildSafe is intended to help adults practice greater firearm safety in the home. More information is available at projectchildsafe.org.

    About NSSF
    The National Shooting Sports Foundation is the trade association for the firearm industry. Its mission is to promote, protect and preserve hunting and the shooting sports. Formed in 1961, NSSF has a membership of thousands of manufacturers, distributors, firearm retailers, shooting ranges, sportsmen’s organizations and publishers nationwide. For more information, visit nssf.org.

  • NRA Launches FREE Experienced Hunter Ed Course

    March 22, 2020

    NRA Launches Free Experienced Hunter Education Course

    The National Rifle Association is pleased to announce the launch of our latest contribution to the hunting community, the NRA Experienced Hunter Education Course.

    “If you’ve taken a break from the shooting sports or haven’t hunted in a season or two, our Experienced Hunter Education Course is the perfect refresher for firearms safety and safe hunting practices,” explained Elizabeth Bush, managing director of NRA Community Engagement. “Best of all, we’re offering this service completely free of charge.”

    NRA’s Experienced Hunter Education Course in an online review of everything an experienced hunter should know, including a review of firearm safety and safe hunting practices. Though not a substitute for state-mandated hunter safety requirements, it will provide a solid foundation of the fundamentals.

    “The NRA is dedicated to providing our members and supporters with the best safety training possible. Our Experienced Hunter Education Course is a wonderful addition to that commitment,” concluded Bush.

    Free to all, this comprehensive hunting refresher course will help hunters become safer and more confident before heading out into the field. For more information, visit www.nraehe.org and get ready for a safe and successful season.

  • Iowa DNR List of Cancellations

    March 21, 2020
    DNR masthead

    For immediate release

    2020 annual spring sale cancelled

    DES MOINES, Iowa — In light of the Covid-19 and recommendations set forth by the CDC, the Iowa DNR is cancelling this weekend’s spring auction at the Iowa State Fairgrounds.

    The auction was scheduled to take place in the Livestock Pavilion at the Iowa State Fairgrounds on Saturday, March 21. The public viewing on Friday is also cancelled.

    At this time, no decision has been made whether this event will be rescheduled.

    Parks Day at the Capitol & Gift to Iowa Ceremony

    In light of the Covid-19 and recommendations set forth by the CDC, as well as the suspension of the legislative session and restricted access to the Capitol, the DNR is cancelling both the Parks Day at the Capitol and the Gift to Iowa Ceremony.

    Both events were scheduled to be held on March 25, 2020 at the Capitol.

    Donors scheduled to be recognized at this year’s Gift to Iowa Ceremony are encouraged to participate in the 2021 ceremony. A date has yet to be set.

    Shooting sports/hunter’s safety classes

    In accordance with CDC guidelines, and state recommendations, we are cancelling upcoming classes, field days, workshops, and advanced hunter education offerings through April 30.

    These events are usually held within facilities that are currently closed or prohibiting gatherings of large groups due to the Covid-19.

    The health and safety of our volunteers, participants, and staff is of utmost importance to us, that is why we have these cancellations.

    Due to the cancellation of our in-person hunter education courses and field days, we are recommending the following for hunting this spring: 

    • Anyone ages 15 years and younger are able to participate in hunting activities if accompanied by an adult 18 and older who holds a valid hunting permit.
    • Anyone ages 16 – 17 can purchase an apprentice hunting license to hunt alongside an adult 18 and older who holds a valid hunting permit.
    • Anyone ages 18 and older can complete the required hunter’s safety course online.

    We recognize this is an inconvenience and that it may not be the most desirable option to receive your hunter education certification.

    DNR cancels public meetings in West Union, Decorah

    The Iowa Department of Natural Resources has canceled its public meetings in West Union and Decorah next week based on guidance from state and national health officials to avoid public gatherings of more than 10 people.

    The meetings were scheduled to discuss chronic wasting disease after it was confirmed in hunter harvested deer in Fayette and Winneshiek counties.

    The Iowa DNR will look for dates closer to deer season to reschedule these meetings.

  • Iowa Governor Reynolds on Weapon Permit Issuance, and more…

    March 20, 2020

    Friends of IFC,

    IFC has been flooded with communication regarding the highs and lows people have experienced when attempting to apply for an Iowa Permit to Carry or Permit to Iowa Acquire in the last week.  County Sheriffs had responded to the current health emergency in different ways,  with some temporarily suspending the issuance and renewal of weapons permits, while others arranged for applications by mail, email, or online.  IFC worked with the Department of Public Safety to communicate ‘best practices’ to Sheriffs early in the week.  This guidance was sent to all 99 Iowa counties. At the same time, IFC was coordinating with DPS, we were working through House and Senate leadership to communicate options for solutions as simple as the use of the mail or other alternatives for the public to receive and submit applications.  The results of these immediate, behind the scenes efforts by IFC have resulted in Governor Reynolds’ proclamation made this morning, which reads:


    SECTION TWELVE.  Pursuant to Iowa Code section 29C.6(6) and 135.144(3), and in conjunction with the Iowa Department of Public Health, I temporarily suspend the regulatory provisions of Iowa Code section 724.18 requiring personal delivery of applications for permits to acquire pistols or revolvers and direct that each sheriff’s office to formulate and implement a policy for the procedure for accepting applications for permits to acquire pistols or revolvers and applications for permits to carry weapons that shall include in-person drop-off without involving in-person interactions between the public and staff, acceptance by mail, and to the extent practical by electronic means.

    SECTION THIRTEEN.  Pursuant to Iowa Code section 29C.6(6), I temporarily suspend the regulatory provisions of Iowa Code sections 724.6, 724.7, and 724.20 regarding professional and nonprofessional permits to carry and permits to acquire pistols or revolvers, in that, for State purposes only, the permit to carry weapons will not expire during this Proclamation.  This suspension will not extend to the ability of the permits to be used to purchase, in lieu of a NICS check, once the permit is past its original expiration date. 

    Thank you, Governor Reynolds, for helping streamline and simplify this process.  IFC members and Iowans at large appreciate it.  Thank you to the House and Senate Leadership which offered assistance in this matter. We enjoy our relationship with you and the spirit of our mutual work.  Thank you to the Department of Public Safety for making the attempt to communicate best practice options to all of Iowa’s Sheriffs.  I only wish more would have promptly listened to the guidance coming from DPS.


    • Governor Reynold’s proclamation extends expiring weapons permits
    • Governor Reynold’s proclamation allows for the mailing of permit applications to your local Sheriff’s Office
    • Governor Reynold’s proclamation offers email or fax options for permit applications to your local Sheriff’s Office
    • The NICS background check is only valid for 5 years by Federal Regulation – A permit that is beyond its printed expiration date may not be used to purchase a firearm. Instead, a new background check will need to be performed at the point and time of purchase. This can be accomplished at your FFL dealer.

    This proclamation helps make permit application safe and simple during this trying period.  This is a welcome move by Governor Reynolds.  Remember, however, an expired permit beyond its five-year period DOES NOT hold validity to ATF.

    Iowa law grants Sheriffs a thirty-day window in which to either grant or deny a weapons permit to an applicant. Normally, this process should take a few days at most. However, IFC expects that Iowans will understand that Sheriff’s Offices are under exceptional stress at the moment and may also be short-staffed. They are also seeing a surge in public interest for permits. Please exercise patience.


    Iowa Department of Public Safety webpage with links to application, code, and laws.

    Iowa Permit to Carry Application

    Iowa Permit to Acquire Application


    The sudden turmoil and uncertainty of the present emergency has shattered our sense of normalcy and forced us all to seriously consider how we would care for and defend our families in the event of a much greater breakdown in the social order. Many Americans are just beginning to realize that we may all be called upon to be our own “first responder” in times of crisis. The natural right to self-defense – and by extension, the right to keep and bear arms – is fundamental to our safety and security. The Constitution of the United States recognizes that and decrees that it “shall not be infringed.” Yet elected officials, political candidates, bureaucrats, and well-funded special interest groups continue to offer an unending stream of draconian restrictions on those rights.

    This is an election year – and a critical one at that. IFC and IFC’s Political Action Committee will be working hard in the next few months to help you make an informed choice among the candidates. For the sake of our families and their future, we must maintain and strengthen the pro-liberty, pro-2A majorities in the Iowa legislature, especially in the House. If we lose even only the House majority, we will likely never again have an opportunity to pass the Freedom Amendment, which will add strong protections of the right to keep and bear arms to Iowa’s own Constitution.

    Once we have adopted the Freedom Amendment – and as we look back and review the lessons of the current crisis – we will be in a much stronger position than ever before to then eliminate one of the original infringements on our basic rights – the requirement for a government permit to purchase or peaceably carry a defensive weapon.

    Finally, while you’re at home reading in the coming weeks, I suggest you read and commit to memory the Constitution of the United States.  Make use of your time wisely.  Too few people do.

    In liberty,

    Michael Ware – IFC Chairman