• Happy Independence Day!

    July 4, 2016

    Dear IFC Members,

    240 years ago today, on July 4, 1776, the Continental Congress began signing the Declaration of Independence, thus officially severing the American colonies’ allegiance to the Crown of England forever, and setting into motion a war that at times very nearly destroyed us.

    11 years later, on the last day of the Constitutional Convention which was made possible by the Declaration, the representative from Pennsylvania, one Benjamin Franklin, was reportedly approached by a woman.  According to the legend she asked Mr. Franklin, “what have you given us, Sir?”  To which Mr. Franklin famously replied, “a republic, Ma’am, if you can keep it.”

    I know times are tumultuous now.  Our politics is in disarray and it seems like there is great division and discord in America.  But as fragile as it seems right now, it has been because of people like you that for over two centuries we have managed to keep our republic.  78 years after winning our freedom, people like you stood up against slavery.  Then, 100 years ago, the fight was for women’s suffrage, and 60 years ago the fight was against Jim Crow and for the equality of all.  And in 2016, it falls to us that our share of the duty in ensuring freedom for future generations is by standing in the gap and fighting for the rights guaranteed and protected by the Second Amendment.

    You are all a part of a long line of Americans who have stood up for the right thing.  That tradition runs through you, in a straight line leading right back to those early patriots this country reveres so dearly, like Thomas Jefferson, whose glorious and immortal words we remember today:

    We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.–That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, –That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security…And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor.

    These words do not live on a sheet of paper housed under armored glass in Washington D.C.; they live within all of you, and because of that the principles those mere words convey cannot ever be destroyed.  You–all of us together–are the genuine vessel of freedom.  You are the torch bearers, carrying the flame forward until our children and our children’s children can take it up and themselves carry it forward.  And for this truly amazing and sublimely beautiful thing, I give you all my most gracious and humble thanks.  I thank you for doing everything you do to keep American values, virtues, and traditions alive, especially now that they are seemingly under attack from multiple sides.

    And to IFC’s amazing volunteers, I want to express my gratitude to your families as well, for it is because of their sacrifice in time away from you that you are able to do what you do to protect the civil rights of every single Iowan in this state.  Please pass along my thanks to them.

    Happy Independence Day, IFC.  This day is for you!

    With the levity of a joyful heart,
    Proudly standing by you to protect the Second Amendment in Iowa,
    Yours truly,
    Barry B. Snell
    President, Iowa Firearms Coalition

  • Reminder: NRA Board ballots due by May 1 – Vote for Pete Brownell!

    April 25, 2016

    Everyone,nra-logo-small

    Just a final reminder that if you’re a voting member of the NRA, your ballots for the NRA board are due by May 1, 2016.  To be clear: Your ballot must be in the NRA’s hand on or before May 1, not merely postmarked by then!  So if you haven’t sent your ballot in yet, get it in the mail first thing tomorrow or expedite it.

    While you’re voting, make sure to cast a vote for Pete Brownell on that ballot, too.  Pete, in addition to being the CEO of Brownells, Inc., is also a longtime board member and supporter of the Iowa Firearms Coalition.  So be sure to support someone who supports you–vote for Pete!

    To learn more about Pete Brownell, visit his website here.

  • IFC Hosts Mass Qualification Event

    October 13, 2015

    On October 10, 2015, the Iowa Firearms Coalition hosted a mass-qualification event at Big Springs Shooting Complex near Searsboro, IA.  When Iowa’s “may issue” law changed to “shall issue” in January 2011, tens of thousands of Iowans who were previously unable to get a permit were able to obtain a five year permit. As a result, thousands of Iowans are now faced with renewing their permits and must take a training class in order to renew those permits.

    20151010_103423-1_resized

    The event at Big Springs allowed holders of Iowa’s Permit to Carry Weapons (PCW) to get the training certificate required to renew their permits in the upcoming months. To obtain a training certificate, shooters were required to fire a total of 10 rounds from two magazines (5 rounds in each) at an 8″ target at a distance of 8 yards.

    20151010_135439-1_resized_3

    A score of 100% was required to receive a certificate, and shooters were given two chances to achieve this score. One range was used for qualification while a second range was used for shooters to practice with a firearms instructor. IFC intends to host additional events such as this in order to assist Iowans with permit renewals.  All proceeds from this event went to IFC’s PAC, which aims to expand 2nd Amendment freedoms in Iowa.

    20151010_103441-1_resized

     

     

  • Goddard Zombie Match AAR

    October 8, 2015

    Goddard Regulators put on a “Zombie Outbreak” shoot on October 4 & 5 just north of Colfax, IA.  It was a 4 stage match that included firearm safety, and competitive training for the [tongue-in-cheek] upcoming zombie apocalypse. IFC was happy to help sponsor this fun event with door prizes.

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  • Grassley & Huckabee Pheasant Hunt (Oct. 31)

    October 5, 2015

    Please join Governor Mike Huckabee for a pheasant hunt and special reception honoring Senator Chuck Grassley on Saturday, October 31, 2015 at Doc’s Hunt Club in Adel (29475 Prospect Circle Adel, IA 50003 – map).

    The hunt will take place at 8:30 AM with Governor Huckabee, and a reception with the opportunity to shoot clays with both Governor Huckabee and Senator Grassley will follow at 10:00 AM.

    Hunting involves a minimum donation of $250 while a $25 donation covers entry to the reception. All funds raised will go to Senator Grassley’s reelection campaign. Space on the hunt is limited, so please RSVP Anne Roth at 515-314-2705 or email anne.roth@grassleyworks.com.

    Senator Grassley has been and continues to be a friend of the Second Amendment and works hard to protect the gun rights of not only Iowans, but Americans everywhere. Your support helps to ensure Senator Grassley can continue his good work on Second Amendment issues.

    • Donations can be sent online by clicking here
    • Donations can be mailed to: The Grassley Committee – P.O. Box 1000, Des Moines, IA 50304

    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 listfor the latest on Second Amendment issues in Iowa. You can support our work by becoming a member, or making a donation.

  • Renewing your Iowa Permit to Carry Weapons

    August 28, 2015
    It's been five years since Shall Issue was signed into law, renew your permit today!

    Friends don’t friends’ permit to carry expire.
    It’s been five years, renew your permit today!

     

    I can hardly believe that we are quickly approaching the 5th year of Iowa’s “Shall Issue” Permit to Carry Weapons Law that went into effect in January of 2011. Thanks to the Iowa Firearms Coalition, lots of dedicated individuals, and outspoken firearms owners like you, for a few years now we have enjoyed what I believe to be one of the best permit to carry laws in the country.

    Now that many Iowans’ have had their permits for a few years, there are plenty of questions and a bit of confusion concerning how to renew a permit, and what that process involves.  In this article, I am going to attempt to clear things up for everyone.

    A Permit is valid for five years and the time frame in which you must renew is important.  Let’s start off with what renewing a permit actually means. For definition purposes, renewing an Iowa Permit to Carry Weapons means:  to grant or gain an extension of.  So in renewing you are extending the permit to where there is no expiration or lapse in coverage. The Iowa Law on issuance of permits under code section 724.11 is actually pretty clear. Let’s break it down in sections and explain.

    Under Iowa Code 724.11 Section 3 it states:

    724.11 sect. 3. “Renewal permits or duplicate permits shall be issued for a fee of twenty-five dollars, provided the application for such renewal permit is received by the issuing officer at least thirty days prior to the expiration of the applicant’s current permit.

    This is pretty simple; the cost to renew a permit for an additional five years is $25. To renew a permit the applicant must apply for that renewal 30 days or more BEFORE expiration of their current permit.  This is where a bit of the confusion can kick in. If you do NOT apply at least 30 days or more prior to your permit expiration date, then you cannot actually renew. Any application less than 30 days before a permit expires will be considered an application for a NEW Permit and the cost will be $50

    724.11 Sect 1. “For renewal of a permit the training program requirements in section 724.9, subsection 1, shall apply or the renewal applicant may choose to qualify on a firing range under the supervision of an instructor…”

    This simply says that in order to apply for renewal permit, an applicant needs to have met the training requirements in Code 724.9, meaning demonstrating knowledge of firearms safety  (IE a class) , or the renewal applicant can choose to qualify on the range. Your original training certificate will not work for a renewal permit due to the 1 year time frame (see below).  Range qualification is only available as an option for a renewal, (qualification is not required for a NEW permit).

    724.11 Sect 1. Cont. “Such training or qualification must occur within the twelve-month period prior to the expiration of the applicant’s current permit.”

    Towards the end of this section is where it refers to a renewal permit and gives a time frame as to when the training requirements must be met in order to renew. A permit holder has one year before their permit expires to meet the training requirements (take a class or shoot on the range) to be able to apply for a renewal. Your original proof of training will not work here, again due to the time frame. For purposes of a renewal permit in my opinion this should be called or referred to as “re-training”, but it is not.  It is also of my opinion that a DD-214 will not work for a renewal due to the time frame in which the training occurred. (NOTE: this is just an opinion. When in doubt it’s best to contact your local sheriff’s office to confirm any questions you may have).

    So let me try to sum up the renewal process for you. To RENEW a permit a person needs to:

    1. Show proof of training in the form of a class or shooting test that occurred one year (or less) from their current permit expiring.

    2. Apply for the renewal permit 30 days or more before their current permit expires.

    3. Pay $25 for an additional 5 years. (some counties offer a wallet type permit card and charge more for that)

    Hopefully you now understand the renewal process. You may have also heard some different opinions and rumors concerning renewing a permit. Well, as usual, very few things in the law are outright and simple. Just like the laws on carrying a weapon, there are some nooks and crannies in Code 724.11 that aren’t always obvious.  Let me explain.

    If you allow your permit to expire, or don’t apply in time to renew, you must start all over and get a new permit. Starting over means you have to show proof of training and then pay $50 along with a new application for a new permit. There is no time frame written into the law as to when training needs to occur for a new permit.  A person with a current permit could essentially just let their original permit expire, then use their original training certificate to apply for a new permit. Taking this route though could pose some different problems.

    The first potential issue with letting a permit expire and applying for a new one vs. renewing is that you could end up being without a permit for a month. This could be as many as thirty days due to the time frame allowed in the law. Some sheriffs intentionally take the entire time allowed in the law to issue. This may leave you without a permit for the period between the expiration of the current permit and the issuance of the next one.

    The next potential problem could be with providing your original proof of training. When applying for a new permit there is no time frame as to when the training needed to occur. That training course that you took in 2010 would work to get a NEW permit, but not for a renewal. Many people do not keep their certificate of training and many Sheriff’s Departments do not keep them on file.

    I fully understand why there is always a lot of grumbling over taking and paying for another class or more instruction. While I don’t believe that continued training should be mandatory, I do believe it is something every permit holder needs to seriously consider. Not all permit courses are the same, some are oriented towards weapons handling and tactics, while others cover just the basics of safety. Other classes are more in depth and geared towards discussion of the laws and justifiable use of force.  The cost of a refresher class spread over five years to expand your knowledge and bag of skills may end up being pretty cheap?

    So there is the lowdown on renewing your Iowa Permit to Carry Weapons. With that said, this is not to mean that some Sheriffs, Instructors or others won’t interpret, convey or apply the law differently. No different than when the “Shall Issue” law went into effect in 2010, I expect there will be some confusion on all of this as I mentioned early on in this article. I imagine the time frame of when you must apply to renew and the one year to take “re-training” is the issue most likely to trip people up. Hopefully gun owners will continue to exercise their rights through sustaining and increasing the number of permits issued in Iowa

    Go Safe

    Steve Hensyel

     

    Steve Hensyel is a guest writer for the Iowa Firearms Coalition. Hensyel is the owner of Hawkeye Firearms Instruction and an IFC past president.


    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. 

  • Reciprocity Alert – Minnesota No Longer Honoring Utah CCW Permits

    August 13, 2015
    Iowan's don't be caught of guard if you're traveling in Minnesota - MN no longer honors Utah CCW Permits

    Attention Iowans and anyone who is in Minnesota regularly – if you have a Utah CCW Permit and use that to carry in Minnesota you’re now going to have to reevaluate how you carry in the Land of 10,000 Lakes.

     

    If you have a Utah CCW Permit then you need to be aware that in response to a recent change in Minnesota Laws, the Minnesota Department of Public Safety has removed four states from the list of Permits that they honor.

    A Utah CCW Permit is no longer valid in Minnesota.

    Missouri, Texas, Wyoming and Utah are the four states that are no longer recognized by our neighboringmap Northern State.

    The reason stated for Utah being removed is due to lack of a shooting requirement for permit training. This is also one of the reasons why they will not recognize an Iowa Permit.

    I was told by someone who spoke to a Minnesota Elected Official, that several people are not happy with the Minnesota Department of Public Safety’s action on this. It is always possible that there could be some backlash, and this decision could be reversed. Please do not rely on rumors, and be sure to check and verify any information.

    If you want to do something to help fix this situation contacting the Minnesota Department of Public Safety would be a good start. Politely let them know you’d like to see Minnesota’s reciprocity agreements with Missouri, Texas, Wyoming and Utah restored.  While you’re at it, ask them to honor Iowa’s Permit to Carry certification as well.

    It is possible to get an out-of-state Minnesota Permit. The cost is $100 for five years and you must apply to a Minnesota Sheriff in person. I am still researching the training requirements, but from what I understand, the instruction does not have to be taken in Minnesota, but it is required to have a shooting component.

    Hopefully this is a good reminder to be sure to check and double-check the reciprocity of your permit before you travel. Understanding and knowing the laws of the states you plan to visit is also very important, as they can vary quite a bit from state to state. An Iowa Permit to Carry Weapons is currently honored in 32 states.

    The links below are a good websites to check and compare for more information.

    https://dps.mn.gov/divisions/bca/bca-divisions/administrative/Pages/permit-to-carry-reciprocity.aspx

    http://www.handgunlaw.us/

    http://www.usacarry.com/

     

    Go Safe

    Steve Hensyel

     

    Steve Hensyel is a guest writer for the Iowa Firearms Coalition. Hensyel is the owner of Hawkeye Firearms Instruction and an IFC past president.


    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. 

  • What Every Shooter Should Carry at the Range

    August 10, 2015
    A case for for first aid kits at the gun range.

    Is your range bag truly complete? If it doesn’t have a first aid kit, the answer is ‘No.’

     

    You go to the range to practice and prepare but are you actually prepared while at the range?

    It is something none of us like to think about. We follow the rules of safety and encourage others to do so too. But what if the unthinkable happened and there was an accident at the range. Would you be prepared?

    When I go to the range or travel I carry several items in my vehicle in case of emergency. Among them are a general medical kit with items such as band aids, gauze, ice packs, aspirin, bottled water, bug spray and an overall assortment of items that myself or someone else might need.

    The second most important item I carry is a trauma kit geared towards gun shot wounds (GSW). My actual trauma kit is in its own small pouch or pack that I can take with me to the bench or slip into my range bag with my other gear. It is actually small enough to be worn on my belt without being in the way. The items I have in my trauma kit are:

    C.A.T – Combat application tourniquet                                                       

    Is your range bag ready for a day of shooting?

    A basic first aid kit could literally mean the difference between life and death.

    Halo sterile chest seal patch 

    4″ quik clot combat gauze  

    Nitrile gloves

    Sterile trauma dressing 

    2 6″ Rolled sterile gauze

    Scissors 

    Trauma reference card 

    These items alone are relatively inexpensive or you can actually find some pre-prepared kits with these items included. I like to keep it simple and found they were actually cheaper to purchase separately.

    A person doesn’t have to become a EMT or take lot of training to learn to use these effectively. Taking a basic first aid course is always a good idea. Getting CPR certified is fairly easy and there are basic trauma first aid courses around too. The Army Combat Trauma Course is readily available for download as a PDF and it is a pretty easy to read and understand manual. Here in Iowa, and in most states there are good Samaritan laws where someone trying to render aid is not liable. Statistics have also shown that a large majority of serious wounds to the torso or limbs are survivable if general aid is applied on-site or while still in the field

    So if the unthinkable happen would you be prepared and wouldn’t you want to be?  Please give this some thought and consider making some of these things part of your range equipment. As with everything, we hope for the best but should prepare for the worst and just a few simple items might someday turn a fun day at the range into saving a life.

    Go Safe

    Steve Hensyel

     

    Steve Hensyel is a guest writer for the Iowa Firearms Coalition. Hensyel is the owner of Hawkeye Firearms Instruction and an IFC past president.


    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.