• Message from the IFC Board — Effectively Communicating with Your Legislators

    January 23, 2015

    The following message was written by John Reed, Chairman of the Iowa Firearms Coalition’s Board of Directors. Reed is also one of our main lobbyists. He works extremely closely with our legislators on an almost daily basis, and provides valuable insight in how IFC members can maximize their effectiveness.


    John Reed – IFC Board Chairman

    It occurs to me that some of you may not know how you can help to communicate with your legislators in a manner that will synchronize your message with ours. Of course, feel free to communicate anyway that you want, but if you want to be helping us in our efforts in a generic sort of way, here’s what you can do.

    Stress these two themes in all your communications, doing this will put an exclamation point on what the IFC lobbyists are saying on the hill.

    1) ALWAYS state clearly that you support and want them to support a Right to Keep and Bear Arms amendment to the Iowa Constitution and that you won’t settle for the federal wording. You want the enhanced language that National Rifle Association and Iowa Firearms Coalition has presented.

    It may happen that a bill would get introduced that would mimic the federal language. We’ve been told that such a bill would get strong support from nearly everyone in both chambers. However, that bill, should it come out, would NOT be anything IFC would support. Amending the Constitution is a long, arduous fight so it’s not done very much. Therefore, If we’re going to work to get an amendment through, that amendment MUST be the best we can get for future generations of Iowans.

    I think we can all agree that the federal language, while clear to us, has been problematic in this age, and is yet not properly applied to We the People’s rights. Therefore, the language we will be putting up (very soon) will be an amplified version wherein the meaning of the language is clarified.

    Example: Would you believe that there are some (perhaps many) who don’t understand that the word “bear” means “carry”? I personally find that absurd, but it’s there nonetheless. So, it’s imperative that the word “carry” be inserted into any amendment we put forth. In addition, our language would include the legal phrase, “strict scrutiny,” a phrase I’ll not explain here because you can easily look it up. But that phrase MUST be included in order that the high courts not easily erode the protection we intend the new amendment to afford our kids and grand kids.

    2) ALWAYS state clearly that their support of the Second Amendment will always benefit them and never harm them with the public. The 2nd Amendment is a winner for politicians – always has been and always will be. In fact, support for the 2nd Amendment is growing with the public as recent polls clearly point out.

    Some legislators seem to understand this to the extent that they know their district and how it feels about our firearms rights. But, even they become concerned when they think of other districts. Rare indeed is a district where a legislator would be punished for voting for any good firearms rights bills. You see, that’s what this is — it’s a civil, common law RIGHT. Firearms aren’t ‘social’ bills and we certainly don’t ask for money. This is about our CIVIL RIGHTS! Legislators who support civil rights win. Therefore, when they support firearms bills, they win! Help them understand that.

    Unless we are calling for you to support a specific action or issue, use the above as a guide to include with your communications to your legislators. Doing this would be helping us a great deal.

    Thank you for your efforts!

    John Reed
    Chair – Board of Directors
    Iowa Firearms Coalition

    Use the Iowa Firearms Coalition’s Legislative Action Center to find your legislators, send them a pro-Second Amendment email, and sign up for our newsletter.

    Iowa Firearms Coalition is an entirely volunteer, grassroots, 2nd Amendment advocacy group. Responsible for bringing uniformity to Iowa’s Concealed Weapons Permitting process, IFC’s members work to protect and enhance 2nd 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 2nd Amendment issues in Iowa. You can support our work by becoming a member, or making a donation.

  • An Open Letter from Outgoing IFC President Jeff Burkett

    November 17, 2014

    It is my honor to announce Barry Snell as the new President of Iowa Firearms Coalition. Barry is a solid pro-Second Amendment patriot who will serve you well. It is a great privilege to be able to pass the torch to someone who will be able to bring some fresh energy and ideas to the role as well as continue in the traditions that have made us Iowa’s most respected and successful firearms rights organization.

    I recruited Barry to IFC after reading an article he had authored in the Iowa State Daily and I have been grateful for his contributions as IFC’s Communications Director. I look forward to working with him as he assumes the Presidency.

    I am sure the first question that comes to mind for most is curiosity as to why we are making this change. In short, I have too much going on to continue with the day-to-day operations of the organization. I have a full time job in IT, I have a wife and 5 kids, I am a volunteer EMT in our small town, and I am actively involved in our local community in various other ways, including coaching kids athletics and local church activities. Right now, my professional career and family simply need more of my time.

    In anticipation of this move, the IFC Board of Director’s last spring elected me to the Board, where I will continue to serve our members. I will primarily continue to help with lobbying and legislative efforts, as well as in developing the vision for the organization moving forward. I will also continue to speak publicly for the organization as needed at gun shows, IFC gatherings, in the media and other outlets.

    IFC has proudly been a completely volunteer organization from its inception as Iowa Carry (as we were known before successfully changing Iowa to a Shall Issue state). I started volunteering with the organization in an official capacity about 8 years ago, helping at gun shows and bringing in new members before officially being asked to help out as the Action Center Manager. Over 3 years ago I was honored to be elevated to the position of IFC President, but it’s time for me to concentrate more on my family, take a step into a less demanding role and allow others to serve.

    Additionally, I want to say thank you to all of you who are faithful members of this great organization. I can honestly say that every dime you give to this organization goes 100% to the cause. In addition, you give your time and attention, which is invaluable. I can’t stress enough how much respect our organization receives at the Capitol because of your willingness to work hard and represent our cause with great honor and pride.

    I also want to thank those of you that served directly under me in more prominent roles. I deeply value your friendship and contribution to the cause. Thank you for continuing to make extra time to keep this organization moving forward.

    My sincere thanks go to the Board of Directors for your friendship and confidence in me as a leader. I am grateful for the opportunity to continue serving the membership and all Iowans as we continue the fight to fully reclaim our Second Amendment rights.

    Finally, to my wife and family: Thank you for all of your support and encouragement over the past few years. It’s taken a tremendous amount of time away from you, yet you’ve been supportive of me and the cause through it all. I love you and appreciate you as you’ve walked this journey with me.

    Continuing to advance your Second Amendment rights in Iowa,

    Jeff Burkett
    Board of Directors
    Iowa Firearms Coalition

  • Change in Leadership for Iowa’s Premier Gun Rights Group

    November 17, 2014


    Barry Snell follows Jeff Burkett as IFC President

    There’s been a change in leadership within the Iowa Firearms Coalition. Jeff Burkett has retired from his position as president of the organization. Burkett is being succeeded by Communications Director Barry Snell. Burkett will join the IFC Board of Directors where he will remain active with organization.

    Burkett has been with the organization since 2008 and has served as president since 2011. He’s played a key role in many major projects, including: changing Iowa’s Concealed Weapons Permitting system from May Issue to Shall Issue, the creation of a Dove Hunting season, and fighting off proposed weapons bans in several Iowa communities.

    Barry Snell has served as Communications Director for the Iowa Firearms Coalition since early 2014. A lifelong shooter, Snell’s professional experience includes a political science degree from Iowa State, legislative work in the Iowa Capitol, and public service in both Iowa law enforcement and the US Army.

    Snell and Burkett have already coordinated on many projects, and the change in leadership will not have any effect on day to day operations.


    Iowa Firearms Coalition is an entirely volunteer, grassroots, 2nd Amendment advocacy group. Responsible for bringing uniformity to Iowa’s Concealed Weapons Permitting process, IFC’s members work to protect and enhance 2nd Amendment rights in Iowa. An affiliate of the National Rifle Association, the IFC actively seeks to foster and promote the shooting sports.