• Des Moines County Sheriff Shoots Hand While Cleaning Loaded Gun

    December 19, 2015
    Sheriff Mike Johnstone is recovering from a negligent discharge that resulted in a gunshot wound to his left hand.

    Sheriff Mike Johnstone is recovering from a negligent discharge that resulted in a gunshot wound to his left hand.

    Negligent Discharge

    Des Moines County Sheriff Mike Johnstone is recovering from a gunshot wound he suffered while cleaning a loaded handgun earlier this week. Johnstone was taken to a Burlington hospital with a non-life threatening gunshot wound to his left hand. A news release from the Des Moines County Sheriff indicates that after receiving initial treatment arrangements were made for Johnstone to travel to another facility to see a surgeon who specializes in treating hand injuries.

    Permit to Carry Renewal Impact

    This injury comes at challenging time for the Des Moines County Sheriff’s Office. All across Iowa thousands of Iowans are renewing their Permits to Carry. A process which each sheriff has to sign off on. This influx in renewals is creating a backlog of work that has many sheriff’s offices struggling to keep up. There’s been no word yet on whether Sheriff Johnstone’s negligent discharge injury will impact renewal times for Des Moines County residents.

    Of course there is a heathy dose of irony in all of this. Sheriff Johnstone has criticized the change in Iowa’s carry law from May Issue to Shall Issue. Five years ago, after Iowa Carry (the previous name of the Iowa Firearms Coalition) changed Iowa’s carry law Sheriff Johnstone spoke out several times against the new law. “It’s a recipe for disaster.” Johnstone said while advocating for more gun free zones in Des Moines County. Five years later there’s been no “Wild West shootouts” or parking lot gun battles as opponents of Shall Issue had predicted.

    Teaching Moment

    Naturally the Iowa Firearms Coalition wishes Sheriff Johnstone a speedy recovery. But Sheriff Johnstone’s failure to follow proper gun safety rules also serves as an important reminder that even though firearms are inanimate objects, if they’re not handled with respect they can bring about serious consequences. Often times we hear gun control advocates claim that only police or the military should have access to firearms because they’ve been properly trained. This case proves that gun safety rules apply to everyone, including trained law enforcement officers. So just for good measure, here’s a quick refresher on the most basic Gun Safety Rules.

    Cleaning a gun:
    Before cleaning your gun, make absolutely sure that it is unloaded.
    The gun’s action should be open during the cleaning process.
    Also, be sure that no ammunition is present in the cleaning area.

    Handling a gun:

    1. ALWAYS keep the gun pointed in a safe direction.

    2. ALWAYS keep your finger off the trigger until ready to shoot.

    3. ALWAYS keep the gun unloaded until ready to use.


    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. 

  • 13 Most Dangerous Cities in Iowa

    November 6, 2014

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    Whether you choose to acknowledge it or not, our own personal safety is every individual’s responsibility. The folks over at HomeSecurityShield have sifted through the FBI’s Uniform Crime Report to compile a list of the 13 statistically most dangerous cities in Iowa. The rankings are based off of violent crime, such as: murder/manslaughter, forcible rape, robbery, and aggravated assault. Also included are stats on property crime, such as: burglary, theft, arson.

    Iowa Firearms Coalition encourages everyone to take responsibility for their own safety. Whether this means carrying a concealed firearm, pepper spray, a taser, or learning basic self-defense, being alert and prepared are two of the best things you can do to keep yourself from becoming a victim. If you’re interested in getting a Permit to Carry, or doing some training, we highly recommend you check out our Permits and Training page.

     

    1. Council Bluffs – Violent Crimes: 11.86 per 1,000 residents

      Council Bluffs has a crime rate of about 80 per one thousand residents.

      Your chance of becoming a victim of a crime in Council Bluffs? One in 12.

    2. Keokuk – Violent Crimes: 10.33 per 1,000 residents

      Keokuk has a crime rate of about 66 per one thousand residents.

      Your chance of becoming a victim of a crime in Keokuk? One in 15.

    3. Waterloo – Violent Crimes: 6.82 per 1,000 residents

      Waterloo has a crime rate of about 43 per one thousand residents.

      Your chance of becoming a victim of a crime in Waterloo? One in 23.

    4. Burlington – Violent Crimes: 6.78 per 1,000 residents

      Burlington has a crime rate of about 47 per one thousand residents.

      Your chance of becoming a victim of a crime in Burlington? One in 21.

    5. Muscatine – Violent Crimes: 6.78 per 1,000 residents

      Muscatine has a crime rate of about 42 per one thousand residents.

      Your chance of becoming a victim of a crime in Muscatine? One in 24.

    6. Clinton – Violent Crimes: 6.35 per 1,000 residents

      Clinton has a crime rate of about 51 per one thousand residents.

      Your chance of becoming a victim of a crime in Clinton? One in 19.

    7. Davenport – Violent Crimes: 5.97 per 1,000 residents

      Davenport has a crime rate of about 45 per one thousand residents.

      Your chance of becoming a victim of a crime in Davenport? One in 22.

    8. Fort Madison – Violent Crimes: 5.44 per 1,000 residents

      Fort Madison has a crime rate of about 30 per one thousand residents.

      Your chance of becoming a victim of a crime in Fort Madison? One in 33.

    9. Fort Dodge – Violent Crimes: 5.34 per 1,000 residents

      Fort Dodge has a crime rate of about 52 per one thousand residents.

      Your chance of becoming a victim of a crime in Fort Dodge? One in 19.

    10. Boone – Violent Crimes: 5.28 per 1,000 residents

      Boone has a crime rate of about 31 per one thousand residents.

      Your chance of becoming a victim of a crime in Boone? One in 32.

    11. Des Moines – Violent Crimes: 5.27 per 1,000 residents

      Des Moines has a crime rate of about 55 per one thousand residents.

      Your chance of becoming a victim of a crime in Des Moines? One in 18.

    12. Centerville – Violent Crimes: 5.26 per 1,000 residents

      Centerville has a crime rate of about 50 per one thousand residents.

      Your chance of becoming a victim of a crime in Centerville? One in 20.

    13. Marshalltown – Violent Crimes:5.09 per 1,000 residents

      Marshalltown has a crime rate of about 38 per one thousand residents.

      Your chance of becoming a victim of a crime in Marshalltown? One in 27.


    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.

  • Southeastern silliness, or an ounce of prevention?

    July 9, 2014

    Burlington, IA — The Burlington City Council is considering an ordnance to ban the open or concealed carry of a toy or air gun on one’s person without a proper Iowa carry permit, and mandating that they be carried in a proper gun case when otherwise being transported.  Citing several past cases of mistaken identity, particularly with minors, Burlington Police Chief Doug Beaird fears that police officers may someday shoot someone with a toy gun, believing in the moment that the gun is real and resulting in the use of lethal force.

    Burlington Mayor Shane McCampbell said, ““It’s not saying that nobody can have [a toy or BB gun].  It’s saying that they need to be in a proper carrying bag, so that you’re not running around with a BB gun that may or may not look real.”  The proposed ordinance would cover all spring-loaded or compressed air powered BB and airsoft guns, as well as any other paintball, pellet or replica gun.

    We at IFC certainly recognize the potential public safety issue here, and we applaud the Burlington City Council for their good intentions in considering this matter.  However we must also ask whether a city ordinance, which will ostensibly be aimed mostly at children, is really the appropriate and most effective solution to the problem?  The youthful offenders in question are already acting foolishly, and there’s presently no logical reason why a minor walking around with a BB gun will be deterred by a new ordinance–not to mention law enforcement will still be required to confront them and will still be faced with the same problem.  It must be considered then what such a law will actually accomplish, except just making a few city officials, and maybe a few parents, feel good for a while?

    The Burlington City Council will likely hear this issue twice more prior to a final vote.

    If you live in Burlington, give the matter some thought and let your city representatives know what you think.  For everyone else in Iowa, this is the kind of thing we all need to stay vigilant for and always be ready to provide input on.  This isn’t specifically a Second Amendment issue this time, but we must nonetheless take care that anti-gun fear and paranoia doesn’t spill over into other issues, and result in the passage of still more ineffectual laws that seem so popular today.

    Providing a little food for thought,
    Barry B. Snell
    IFC Communications Director
    NRA Member