• Statement on Woodbury County’s Courthouse Carry Appeal

    January 16, 2018

     

    The Iowa Firearms Coalition (IFC) applauds the Woodbury County Board of Supervisors’ vote to seek relief from the overreaching order from Supreme Court Chief Justice Cady that prohibits weapons in state courthouses. A request to the courts will benefit the people of Woodbury County and will bring the county government into compliance with state law.

    IFC lead the charge in 2017 to give private citizens the right sue local governments that violate Iowa’s firearms preemption law, section 724.28 of Iowa’s legal code. The Chief Justice Cady and the Iowa Supreme Court’s recent edict placed county managed courthouses statewide in violation of this code and in the process made these county governments subject to lawsuit by private citizens.

    724.28 Prohibition of regulation by political subdivisions. A political subdivision of the state shall not enact an ordinance regulating the ownership, possession, legal transfer, lawful transportation, registration, or licensing of firearms when the ownership, possession, transfer, or transportation is otherwise lawful under the laws of this state. An ordinance regulating firearms in violation of this section existing on or after April 5, 1990, is void.

    IFC commends the Woodbury County Board of Supervisors for acting in the best interest of their constituents and recognizing their rights under Iowa law and the United States Bill of Rights. The process required of Woodbury County and others is an unnecessary burden for local governments seeking to correct the wrongful mandate set by Chief Justice Cady. Now that the 2018 legislative session is underway the Iowa Firearms Coalition will be aggressively pursuing legislative means to remind the Iowa Supreme Court and Chief Justice Mark Cady that they have zero constitutional authority to enact a firearms ban in non-court areas.

    For full context regarding IFC’s stance on the Iowa Supreme Court’s judicial overreach please visit:
    http://iowafc.org/blog/2017/12/21/iowa-supreme-court-admits-to-unconstitutional-behavior-commits-to-continued-judicial-overreach/


    The Iowa Firearms Coalition (IFC) is a grassroots Second Amendment advocacy group. Responsible for bringing uniformity to Iowa’s Permit to Carry process in 2010, legalizing suppressors in 2016 and passing the largest pro-Second Amendment bill in Iowa history in 2017. IFC’s members work to protect and enhance the Second Amendment rights of all Iowans. An affiliate of the National Rifle Association, the IFC actively seeks to foster and promote citizen’s right to keep and bear arms. 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.

  • Iowa Supreme Court Admits Unconstitutional Behavior & Commits to Continued Judicial Overreach

    December 21, 2017

    There’s cause for alarm on the bench of the Iowa Supreme Court. Chief Justice Mark Cady and his fellow justices have doubled down on their baseless ban on the lawful carry of firearms in courthouses statewide. The complete disregard of separation of powers by a rogue justice should be cause for concern for all Iowans, whether you feel strongly about your Second Amendment freedoms or not.

    For context let’s review the chain of events that led to our current situation:

    January through April 2017
    The Iowa Firearms Coalitions lead the grassroots effort to pass House File 517 the largest pro-Second Amendment bill in Iowa history. HF517 includes preemption enhancements allowing citizens to sue local governments who violate section 724.28 of Iowa’s weapons law. The preemption portion of HF517 proposes that if a political subdivision — county, city, township, etc., — wrongly preempts state firearm law by passing local weapons bans citizens can sue the political subdivision in question for violating 724.28 and have the weapons ban removed.

    March 14, 2017
    David Boyd, Molly Kottmeyer, and Sydney Kronkrow, all state paid lobbyists working on behalf of the Iowa Supreme Court register against HF517 and begin working to try to stop its passage.

    April 13, 2017
    Governor Terry Branstad signs House File 517 into law. Included in the bill is the update to 724.28 Iowa’s weapons preemption law. This is a major victory for Iowans as citizens now have the ability to effectively challenge and override anti-Second Amendment local governments. Lobbyists for the Iowa Supreme Court have failed their attempt to stop HF517 from being enacted.

    June 19, 2017 – 11 days before HF517 takes effect
    Chief Justice Mark Cady of the Iowa Supreme Court issues a memo (available here) declaring that every courthouse, including common areas and standard business areas, are now a gun free zones. This is a critical sticking point as this overreaching memo includes the non-court related areas where Justice Cady and the Iowa Supreme Court have no jurisdiction.

    IFC’s initial statement on Mark Cady’s unconstitutional courthouse weapons ban, released less than 24 hours after it was announced.

    June 20, 2017
    The Iowa Firearms Coalition publicly calls out the Chief Justice Cady and the Iowa Supreme Court for overstepping the court’s constitutional authority. Their June 19th memo wrongly implied the Iowa Supreme Court could write law for areas of the courthouses they have no jurisdiction over, i.e.; all public, non-court related areas of a courthouse. The Iowa Firearms Coalition points out that if it’s not a courtroom, judge’s chamber or jury room the courts have no constitutional basis to dictate what happens there. These areas, such as the county auditor’s office, recorder’s office and so on, are controlled by the local government, not the courts and therefore fall under Iowa’s weapons preemption law.

    July 1, 2017
    HF517 takes effect in its entirety, yet courthouses across the state continue to unlawfully ban qualified, law-abiding citizens from carrying firearms in their facilities. They continue to do so under the misguidance of Chief Justice Cady and the Iowa Supreme Court.

    July through December 2017
    IFC lobbyists and legislative allies work on getting the Iowa Supreme Court to acknowledge they overstepped their constitutional authority and rescind and clarify their June 19th memo.

    December 19, 2017
    Chief Justice Cady issues another memo (available here) regarding courthouse security. Instead of rescinding the June 19th memo Cady doubles down by declaring the Iowa Supreme Court will continue with their unconstitutional courthouse weapons ban. The only exception will be if county supervisors from individual counties take the unlikely step of coming to the Iowa Supreme Court and requesting to have the weapons ban rescinded in public, non-court controlled areas of their specific courthouse.

    In summary:
    The Iowa Supreme Court does have jurisdiction over court areas such as courtrooms, judge’s chambers, jury deliberation areas and the like. However, the Iowa Supreme Court overstepped its authority on June 19th by declaring entire courthouses, including those non-court areas, as weapons-free zones. Something they have zero power to do. The Iowa Firearms Coalition has pointed this out, both publicly and privately. Yet when challenged Cady and his Supreme Court colleagues double down, issuing a new supervisory order saying effectively saying “We’re going to keep the baseless law we wrote (without any constitutional authority to do so). If you don’t like our edict, you may have your county supervisors come ask us to repeal it in your county only. Meanwhile, we’ll continue to (wrongfully) operate as if we have jurisdiction over non-court areas in courthouses throughout the rest of the state.”

    Why Should I Support Guns in a Courthouse?!?

    There’s no doubt that firearms can make some people uncomfortable especially in a court setting. But don’t let your feelings about firearms, whatever they are, keep you from seeing the more significant issue at play right now. The Iowa Supreme Court’s unconstitutional courthouse weapons ban is indicative of a much bigger problem in Iowa – a Supreme Court gone rogue.

    Realistically speaking there are two possible situations at play here. The best case scenario (and I use that phrase loosely) is that the Iowa Supreme Court, under the leadership of Chief Justice Mark Cady, hasn’t read or doesn’t understand the US Constitution and the separation of powers laid out within it. Judges. Do. Not. Write. Laws. It’s as simple as that. This shouldn’t be anything earth-shattering, in fact, it’s high school civics class material. Yet writing their own law is precisely what the Iowa Supreme Court has tried to do in regards to how business is conducted in areas where they have zero jurisdiction. That’s scenario number one.

    Scenario number two is more likely, though it is significantly more alarming than ignorance. The scenario being the Iowa Supreme Court, under the leadership of Chief Justice Mark Cady, has willfully chosen to ignore the Constitutional boundaries placed on their office to enact their  baseless edict. Then when a spotlight is shined on their unconstitutional activity, the Iowa Supreme Court doubles down by acknowledging their actions but refusing roll back their unconstitutional dictate. Instead, they put in place an onerous process that limits any possible change an extremely narrow scope. Effectively they’ve said “Yeah, we’ve done wrong and overstepped. But we’re going to keep doing wrong and if you want us to stop you can’t come directly to us. You have to have someone else ask us to stop. Now if you do that we’ll stop, but even then we’re going to continue doing wrong in every other community in the state.”

    Over the last several months, the Iowa Firearms Coalition and our allies have asked the Iowa Supreme Court to show us specifically where they derive the authority to dictate how business is conducted in non-court areas. This point of contention has been brought up numerous times and every single time the Iowa Supreme Court is left tongue-tied. No legal doctrine grants Mark Cady and or any of his fellow Iowa Supreme Court justices the legal ability to do what they’re doing.  The Iowa Supreme Court continues to run amok because the People of Iowa allow them to. Because the legal system is confusing. Because black robes are meant to intimidate. Because the judicial branch of government is one most normal people actively avoid. But if we don’t stand up to them, if we don’t remind these justices that judges don’t write laws, that legislating from the bench is inexcusable, that judicial overreach is not only unconstitutional it is intolerable these rogue justices of the Iowa Supreme Court will only be emboldened to go further at the next available opportunity.

    So What?

    What’s happening in the Iowa Supreme Court is wrong, and it is much bigger than whether or not you can carry a firearm when you go to the county courthouse to pay your taxes. This is indicative of a Supreme Court that believes it’s perfectly OK flaunting the fundamental rule of law laid out in the Constitution of the United States. Fortunately, though there’s another date on our timeline that’s fast approaching. One that the Iowa Supreme Court fears and actively wants to avoid.

    January 8, 2018
    The Iowa legislature reconvenes. There are numerous legislators who’ve taken note of Chief Justice Mark Cady and the Iowa Supreme Court’s cavalier behavior and wanton disregard for the Constitution. These legislators are eager to remind these rogue justices that it’s the Iowa legislature, not the Iowa Supreme Court that writes legal code in our state.

    This summer Sioux County Representative Skyler Wheeler put it nicely when he said: “If the Supreme Court wants to act like legislators they need to start getting paid like legislators.” The Iowa Firearms Coalition is not going to let this insult go unchecked. We’ve already begun to put wheels in motion to place much-needed boundaries on the Iowa Supreme Court and remind them of their place in our governmental system. Expect to see much more on this matter. Please join us and help us right this wrong.

     

  • North Liberty Gun Ban – Illogical & Illegal

    November 26, 2015
    Banning guns on city property has been illegal in Iowa for years.

    Banning guns on city property has been illegal in Iowa for years.

     

     

    11/24/2015 — Tonight the North Liberty city council discussed banning law abiding citizens from legally carrying firearms on city property. A standing room only crowd of Iowa Firearms Coalition members and responsible North Liberty firearms owners turned out to voice their opposition, and in the process sent a resounding message to their city council: ‘The people of North Liberty DO NOT under any circumstances support this illegal proposal.’

    IFC members showed up en masse to the North Liberty city council meeting.

    IFC members showed up en masse to the North Liberty city council meeting.

    Gun bans such as the one proposed in North Liberty do nothing but disarm good, law abiding Iowans. Deranged madmen, criminals and radicals have never paid any attention to laws such as this, and as such find no shortage of unarmed victims in these supposed “Gun Free Zones.” The examples of this are tragic and not hard to find.

    Not only are gun free zones like the one proposed in North Liberty illogical, they’re also illegal under Iowa state law. Iowa code 724.28 clearly states:

         A political subdivision of the state shall not enact an ordinance
         regulating the ownership, possession, legal transfer, lawful
         transportation, registration, or licensing of firearms when the
         ownership, possession, transfer, or transportation is otherwise
         lawful under the laws of this state.  An ordinance regulating
         firearms in violation of this section existing on or after April 5,
         1990, is void.

    The Iowa Firearms Coalition thanks the responsible, law abiding citizens of North Liberty for respectfully showing their opposition to this illegal proposal.


    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. 

  • Review & Preview – Week 2 of Iowa’s Legislative Session

    January 25, 2015

    Quote of the week:
    “The world is filled with violence. Because criminals carry guns, we decent law-abiding citizens should also have guns. Otherwise they will win and the decent people will lose.”
    -James Earl Jones

    Fellow Iowans-

    We’ve wrapped up week two of Iowa’s legislative session, and we’re beginning to see the first signs of movement on Second Amendment issues. A few bills, some good some bad, have already been introduced. This is just the beginning though, the Iowa Firearms Coalition along with the NRA have been working diligently behind the scenes on some very significant bills. They will be introduced soon, when that happens we’ll need help from each and every one of you. Stand ready Iowans!

    Week 2 recap:

    Good news first. Representative Matt Windschitl has introduced two bills that will provide important protections for our Second Amendment rights. More specific details on each of these bills can be found on our 2015 Legislative Session webpage.

    HF45 – Emergency powers
    This bill would prohibit the confiscation of firearms, ammunition, and other Second Amendment rights during a “state of emergency” or “public unrest.” In essence this bill would keep Hurricane Katrina style confiscation of firearms from happening in Iowa.
    HF59 – Preemption cleanup bill
    This bill amends Iowa Code 724.28 which says local municipalities and governing bodies cannot supersede state firearms law, and adds a means to penalize anyone that attempts to trump the state law.

    Now for the bad news. A very small contingent of anti-gun legislators have introduced a trio of bills that can best be summed up as the “Michael Bloomberg Gun Control Wishlist.” Fortunately several other key legislators have assured us the passage of these bill is highly unlikely. That’s thanks in very large part to your ongoing contact with Iowa legislators. Keep it up!

    HF70 – 10 round maximum on magazine capacity
    This bill would make it illegal to buy, sell, or trade any magazine that held over ten rounds of ammunition. Under this bill anyone caught transferring magazines with a capacity over 10 rounds would be subject to a fine of up to $6,250.HF76 – Barring transfer of all semi-automatic firearms
    This bill would make it a felony for anyone to buy, sell, trade or transfer a semi-automatic firearm in Iowa. Punishment would include up to 5 years confinement and up to a $7,500 fine for first time offenders. Repeat offenders would face up to 10 years confinement and a $10,000 fine.HF77 – Universal background checks
    Under this bill anyone selling or transferring a firearm must go through an FFL who is mandated to run a NICS background check, regardless of the relationship of the buyer and seller. Punishment would include up to 2 years confinement and a fine of up $6,250.

    What you need to know:

    As we mentioned, the Bloomberg Gun Control Wishlist stands very little chance of gaining any traction. Regardless of that fact we’ll be keeping an extremely close eye on their status and update you as needed.

    More importantly, there’s a pair of pro-Second Amendment bills that have already been introduced but more are coming. Once they’ve all been introduced and assigned to a legislative committee we’ll put out the word on who you need to contact in order to help ensure their passage.

    These bills will be very ambitious and will take a serious amount of work. We’re fully committed to doing our part, but when the time is right we will need you to back us up with a flood of emails, phone calls, and conversations with Iowa’s lawmakers.

    What you can do right now:


    Fighting for your Second Amendment rights in Iowa,
    Sheena Green
    IFC Communications Director
    NRA Member


    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.